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Hidden Environmental Impact of COVID-19 Vaccination: Waste Management, Treatment, and Global Warming Potential

1Civil Engineering Study Program, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Jl. Ir. Sutami No.36, Surakarta- Jawa Tengah 57126, Indonesia

2Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Infrastructure Planning, Universitas Pertamina Jl. Teuku Nyak Arief, Jakarta 12220, Indonesia

Open Access Copyright 2022 Jurnal Kesehatan Lingkungan Indonesia under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0.

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Abstract

Latar belakang: Indonesia, negara terpadat keempat di dunia, muncul sebagai episentrum Covid-19 di Asia pada pertengahan tahun 2021. Lonjakan kasus COVID19 mendorong negara untuk menargetkan 1 juta vaksinasi Covid-19 per hari.

Metode: Penelitian ini menggunakan data kualitatif dari tinjauan pustaka sebelumnya kemudian diolah menggunakan perhitungan yang sesuai dengan metode pengelolaan limbah vaksin.

Hasil: Meskipun peluncuran vaksinasi besar-besaran, dampaknya terhadap lingkungan masih dipertanyakan. Tidak hanya pembuangan limbah medis yang tidak tepat tetap menjadi tantangan sejak wabah pandemi pada tahun 2020, tetapi vaksinasi memperburuk keadaan. Selain limbah padat, konsumsi listrik dan emisi polutan dari zat pendingin mungkin berkontribusi terhadap jejak karbon yang tinggi.

Simpulan: Makalah ini menyoroti pentingnya pengelolaan limbah selama Covid-19 dan konsekuensi tak terduga pada penyimpanan dan penanganan vaksin untuk pengambilan keputusan peluncuran vaksinasi lebih lanjut.

 

ABSTRACT

Background: Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, emerged as Asia's Covid-19 epicenters in the mid of 2021. The surge in COVID19 cases drives the nation to aim for 1 million Covid-19 vaccinations per day.

Method: This study uses qualitatively and quantitatively data from previous literature reviews and then processed using calculations that are in accordance with the vaccine waste management method.

Result: Despite massive vaccination rollout, the impact on the environment is still in question. Not only has improper medical waste disposal remained a challenge since the pandemic breakout in 2020, but the vaccination worsened the circumstances. In addition to solid waste, the electricity consumption and pollutant emissions of the refrigerants might contribute to a high carbon footprint.

Conclusion: This paper highlights the importance of waste management during Covid-19 and unforeseen consequences on vaccine storage and handling for decision making of further vaccination rollouts.

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Keywords: Vaccines; Covid-19; Waste Management; Carbon Footprint

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