With the government ramping up vaccination efforts, we'll also see an increase in clinical waste such as empty vaccine vials, needles and syringes.
As it turns out, we have a lot of them.
A lot of empty vials
Malaysia has, to date, disposed 6.25 tonnes of empty vaccine vials since the COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP) was launched on 24 February, reported Bernama
The report, quoting a statement from the Health Ministry's Engineering Services Division, said the vials were remnants of COVID-19 vaccines administered to 7,593,179 recipients as of 28 June.
"All empty vaccine vials generated from each vaccination centre (PPV) will be gathered at the PPV store daily and will be sent to the relevant hospitals to be weighed before they were taken out in accordance with the stipulated frequency of clinical waste disposal," said the statement.
The statement said the clinical waste will be disposed off by qualified clinical waste disposal companies appointed by the government at the Department of Environment or DOE-licensed clinical waste treatment plants.
"The process will be monitored by the Health Ministry and the DOE. So far, there are 12 plants for this purpose nationwide.”
The division added that the companies appointed to deal with the clinical waste will also provide adequate and qualified manpower to manage a larger number of empty vaccine vials following the increase in vaccination rate.
Let's just hope it won't be a landfill filled with empty vials.