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      Timilehin EburuTimilehin Eburu

      Changes in advice for age groups has meant under-30s are not being given the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

      About 40,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been thrown away after passing their expiration date, according to the Welsh Immunisation System.

      It represents 2% of the AstraZeneca vaccine supplied in Wales

      The Welsh government said changes to age group advice and the availability of other vaccines had led to “a small excess” being wasted.

      The current advice is to only use AstraZeneca to vaccinate the over-30s.

      At least 71% of people over the age of 30 in Wales have been fully vaccinated, with 81% of those in their 40s.

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      A total of 2,364,393 people have had the first vaccine and 2,195,417 people have received both doses.

      On Thursday, Public Health Wales reported nine deaths of people with Covid and 2,297 new cases.

      This brings the total number of deaths in Wales to 5,721 and the number of cases to 301,276.

      The wasted AstraZeneca batches could not be used in the week ending 5 September because they went beyond their August expiry date.

      The proportion of AstraZeneca each week which has been deemed unsuitable for use has been as low as 0.1% in recent weeks.

      The highest proportions of unused vaccines were in Cwm Taf Morgannwg and Hywel Dda health board areas, which saw increases to 3.6% in the past week.

      ‘Lowest waste levels in UK’

      A Welsh government spokesman said: “Changes to age group vaccine recommendations and improved availability of other vaccines regrettably means a small excess of Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine doses have passed their expiry date.

      “Our vaccine teams have ensured every possible dose has been extracted from every vial and they have administered at least three additional doses for every 100 doses they have been supplied.

      “We believe our levels of waste are the lowest in the UK and we call on other nations to make their data available in the same way.”

       

      Source; BBC News

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