ATLANTA — About a quarter of the swine flu vaccine produced for the U.S. public has expired — meaning that a whopping 40 million doses worth about $260 million are being written off as trash.
“It’s a lot, by historical standards,” said Jerry Weir, who oversees vaccine research and review for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The outdated vaccine, some of which expired Wednesday, will be incinerated. The amount, as much as four times the usual leftover seasonal flu vaccine, likely sets a record. And that’s not even all of it.
About 30 million more doses will expire later and may go unused, according to one government estimate. If all that vaccine expires, more than 43 percent of the supply for the U.S. public will have gone to waste.