Report: CVS and Walgreens toss over 128k vaccine doses


  • According to Kaiser Health News, CVS and Walgreens had a cumulative wasted vaccine dose of over 128,000.
  • Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s a total of over 182,000 tossed doses as of late March.
  • The CDC data do not show the total wasted vaccines in the US given its limited scope.

In a report submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by Kaiser Health News, US Pharmacy retails CVS and Walgreens were accountable for combined 128,500 wasted doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

CVS and Walgreens comprise around 70 percent of the total loss of about 182,874 doses as of late March, according to the CDC.

Both outlets were mandated by the federal government to aid in disbursing the vaccines to civilians and healthcare workers across the US in the weeks following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Speaking with KHN, CVS said that “nearly all” of the documented tossed vaccines arrived during that time. Both retail firms drew flak at the time due to slow distribution efforts.

Doses were wasted because of storage errors, broken supplies and expired leftovers. Most of the wasted doses were due to storage failure. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have short shelf life. Pfizer should be used within six hours, while Moderna should be used within 11 hours.

In an issued statement to KHN, both companies said that the figures of wasted doses were very minimal in relation to the huge number of doses they have provided.

A CVS representative argued that such incident happened even with “issues with transportation restrictions, limitations on redirecting unused doses, and other factors.”

Per CDC spokeswoman Katie Fowlie, the tossed doses from the initial vaccine administration could be anticipated due to the massive doses both pharmaceutical firms were directed to distribute.

“Though every effort is made to reduce the volume of wastage in a vaccination program, sometimes it’s necessary to identify doses as ‘waste’ to ensure anyone wanting a vaccine can receive it, as well as to ensure patient safety and vaccine effectiveness,” she said.

About 15 states and D.C. were not included in the current poll of CDC, which means that the recorded wasted vaccine doses in the US are not accurate.

Source: The Guardian

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