Health service wasting Covid vaccines, hospitals & pharmacists say
Health service GGD is wasting abut 15 percent of the coronavirus vaccines, because they don't use everything that comes in the vial. After six doses, there is still a little vaccine left in the vial. Hospitals supplement this with part of a new vial, but the GGDs discard it, Ernst Kuipers of acute care network LNAZ and Noortje Swart, vaccine coordinator for hospital pharmacists, said to newspaper AD.
According to Swart, using up every drop of vaccine is daily practice in hospitals and the method is completely safe. But the GGDs are bound by guidelines from public health institute RIVM and the Youth and Health Care Inspectorate, which prohibits the mixing of vaccines, the health services' umbrella organization GGD GHOR Nederland said to the newspaper.
"This is a very strict protocol and hospital pharmacists are allowed under strict conditions," a spokesperson for GGD GHOR Nederland said. The umbrella organization will ask the RIVM and Inspectorate for permission to also use this protocol, the spokesperson said.
Kuipers and Swart stressed that there is no time to lose. Restrictions can be relaxed more quickly when more people have been vaccinated, they said to AD. "We are in a time of crisis, so we all have to be in crisis mode," Swart said. The hospital pharmacies are ready to help the GGDs, she added.
The Inspectorate told AD that it does not want to deviate from the guidelines that currently apply to the GGDs. "We simply have an agreement about this and we cannot make new agreements every week," a spokesperson said. "Seven out of a bottle is only reserved for hospitals, because there people work with a certain education and certain skills."