Large amount of Japan’s Moderna vaccine stock to be discarded due to expiry

Municipalities in Kanagawa Prefecture are likely to discard a large amount of vaccine for the novel coronavirus, as the expiration date is approaching on some of their Moderna vaccine from the United States.

Thousands of doses of Moderna vaccine have been already discarded in Shizuoka Prefecture, while Okayama Prefecture and the cities of Okayama and Kurashiki were expected to dispose of about 101,000 doses combined. Similar situations are expected throughout the country.

A great deal has been left unused, partly because fewer people are getting a booster shot, especially younger people, and because many prefer the Pfizer vaccine.

“If the current inoculation rate continues, we’ll have no choice but to dispose of some [of the vaccine],” an official of the Yokohama city government said.

As of Monday, Yokohama had about 6,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine with a use-by-date of May 28. Due to the unstable supply for first and second doses, the city had asked the government to provide as much as possible for booster shots.

The Moderna vaccine expires nine months from the date of production, but the expiration date for about 123,000 doses that Yokohama received in early February was already about three months away.

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