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2021.07.07 12:04

Lithuania running out of storage for unused Covid-19 vaccines

Austėja Masiokaitė-Liubinienė, BNS2021.07.07 12:04

With vaccination pace slowing down in Lithuania, unused vaccines are filling up available storage. Freezers at the Health Ministry's Health Emergency Situations Centre are already full, which is becoming a problem, a ministry adviser says.

“Some vaccines need to be stored at very low temperatures, minus 20 to minus 70 degrees. All places at our storage facility have been already filled and we are borrowing freezing space at other municipalities, including Santaros Clinics, Kaunas Clinics and all the rest that have proper storage facilities,” Justina Aleknaitį told LRT TV on Wednesday. “It’s a growing problem and we really feel and see it.”

The Health Emergency Situations Centre has two ultra-low temperature freezers with a capacity of storing 350,000 vaccine doses.

If Lithuania runs out of freezers, it will buy more, she said. The Health Ministry is looking into adjusting vaccine supply schedules to avoid or minimise the risk.

Some of the vaccines delivered to Lithuania are set to expire in August, and the ministry hopes they will be used up by then.

There are 749,300 unused coronavirus vaccines in Lithuania right now, figures from the country's statistics service, Statistics Lithuania, show. In all, the country has received some 3 million doses.

So far, Lithuania has vaccinated 45 percent of the population with at least one vaccine shot.

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