TWO per cent of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board region go unused, according to Welsh Government figures.

The figure is the highest percentage among Wales’ health boards, and is more than twice as many as the next - Swansea Bay, where 0.9 per cent of Pfizer vaccines were deemed unsuitable.

Reasons vaccines can be deemed unsuitable for use include doses that fail quality assurance on initial inspection, doses that fail quality assurance following preparation and vials/doses which expire during the vaccination session.


0.1 per cent of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses have been deemed unsuitable for use in Gwent – up to 5pm on Sunday, April 25

Up to April 26, a total of 463,178 vaccines have been administered in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board region. And as of 5pm on Sunday, April 25, a total of 0.9 per cent were unused – which equates to approximately 4,169 doses.

The Health Board’s total of unusable doses - 0.9 per cent – is almost double the Wales average (0.5 per cent), with Cardiff and Vale, Powys and Swansea Bay health boards recording the joint-second highest figure – all 0.5 per cent.

A health board spokesman said: “The health board has robust processes in place for managing the preparation of the vaccine as well as the flow of patients within our Mass Vaccination Centres.

“Within ABUHB there have been internal and external Quality Assurance processes for the preparation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

"The health board said potential reasons that make doses unsuitable for use include:

  • "Particulate matter contamination in the vial. Our Pharmacy team undertake a visual inspection prior to and following the dilution of the vaccine. If particulates are observed in the vial, then this will be rejected in accordance with the conditions of authorisation of the vaccine.
  • "Storage/Temperature excursions.
  • "Equipment failure (e.g. syringes)."

When asked about vaccine appointment attendance, the health board said about one in 13 people had not shown up.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, a health board spokesperson said: “The average DNA [did not attend] rate across the programme since launching in December 2020 is 7.7 per cent and relates to all priority groups vaccinated to date.”

Currently, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board does not have a list where people who are not yet due to be vaccinated, but are available to come in at short notice if people have not shown up throughout the day, can sign up.

However, a health board spokesperson said the high levels of unused vaccine doses "does not have anything to do with not having a stand-by/reserve list."

“At Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, we are vaccinating our population in line with JCVI guidance,” said a spokesperson in the health board’s April 19 vaccination update.

“We are inviting those eligible to receive the vaccine via letter or via the GP practice they are registered.

“We have a process in place where our vaccination booking centre will ring people who are eligible if we have appointments that become available on the day.

“We have an online form for people to complete if they haven’t received their invite letter to ensure no one within the specific age cohort we are working through is missed.

“Other health boards across Wales may have a different process for inviting their population for their vaccine dependent on how their vaccination programme is progressing, however at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board we can assure the public that our booking process is currently working well, it is reviewed weekly and we do not feel a need to change our process at this time.”