More than 15 million COVID-19 doses have been thrown away in the U.S. over the past several months and that figure is likely higher, according to a report from NBC News.
Using government data, NBC News has reported that pharmacies, state governments and other vaccine providers have tossed out at least 15.1 million vaccine doses since March. 1. Walgreens alone reported nearly 2.6 million wasted doses, CVS reported 2.3 million and Walmart and Rite Aid reported more than 1 million each, according to NBC News. Meanwhile, Texas threw out more than 500,000 doses, more than any state. North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma discarded more than 200,000 doses each.
NBC acknowledges that the data provided by the CDC does not include all states and federal providers and also does not state why doses were not administered. A wastage report can also occur if a vaccine vial has fewer doses than it is meant to. Overall, the 15.1 million wasted doses reported by the CDC represent about 3 percent of the more than 441.3 million doses that have been delivered in the U.S. so far.
According to the CDC, over 370.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S. so far. 72% of the US population have received one vaccine, whilst 62% are fully vaccinated.
Kristen Nordlund, a spokesperson for the CDC, told NBC that the percentage of wasted COVID-19 vaccine doses “remains extremely low, which is evidence of the strong partnership among the federal government, jurisdictions, and vaccine providers to get as many people vaccinated as possible while reducing vaccine wastage across the system.”
“As access to Covid-19 vaccine has increased, it is important for providers to not miss any opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person who presents at vaccine clinics, even if it may increase the likelihood of leaving unused doses in a vial,” Nordlund added.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MEDICAL XPRESS
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