Hospitals Throwing Away COVID Vaccines
January 11, 2021
- The Bottom Line:
- Reports say that hospitals health centers and pharmacies are throwing away unused vaccines
- 22 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed, 6.7 million people have received it
- The vaccines expire six hours after you take the first dose out of the vial
- The demand isn't nearly as high as officials thought it would be
- Many on the high priority list don't want the vaccine and not everyone can get it
In hospitals, health centers, and pharmacies around the United States, there are vials of Covid-19 vaccines that aren't being used and even worse, being thrown out. Out of the more than 22 million doses of vaccine that have been distributed to hospitals and pharmacies so far in the United States, only about 6.7 million people have received their first dose, according to the CDC.
It appears that the demand isn't nearly as high as officials around the country thought it would be and the guidelines laid out by the Federal Government which is urging states to offer the vaccine to people who are older or in higher-risk groups. The problem is that many in that group, don't want the vaccine, at least not yet. The other issue facing health care workers is that once you open a vial of the vaccine, you have six hours to use it. If you don't have anyone that fits in the groups outlined, you have to throw it away. You are not allowed to simply inject the leftover vaccine into just anyone.
As reports emerge nationwide of Covid-19 vaccines at some hospitals going unused, the American Hospital Association responded in a statement that it expects "these issues to be worked out." Rick Pollack, AHA's president, and CEO said in a statement, "America's hospitals and health systems are working hard to administer COVID-19 vaccines as quickly and safely as possible, doing so as prescribed in their state or local jurisdiction's microplan."