Hundreds of doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been thrown away due to mistakes or to administrative limitations on who can be vaccinated, according to recent reports.
New York City clinics have thrown out the vaccine doses because they couldn’t find enough people who were allowed to receive the vaccine under New York’s strict rules, The New York Times reported Friday. Only 34% of the vaccines that have been distributed in New York City have actually been used, according to the report, and health experts have voiced frustration over how few have been vaccinated.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put in place guidelines that mean only health care workers and the residents and staff of long-term care facilities are allowed to be vaccinated. Under a new executive order signed by Cuomo, health care providers could reportedly face fines up to $1 million if they vaccinate people who are ineligible. (RELATED: Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Have Yet To Be Used Since First US Distribution)
New York’s strict vaccine guidelines forced one clinic to throw away vaccine doses after it couldn’t find eligible people. https://t.co/8amoBp7PZZ
— Jorge Arangure (@jorgearangure) January 8, 2021
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for Cuomo to expand eligibility to allow more groups to be vaccinated, but the governor has insisted that his rules are necessary to vaccinate as many people in health care and long-term care facilities as possible.
Smaller health care providers have struggled to find eligible people who are willing to be vaccinated, resulting in doses being thrown away, according to the report. Doctors and health care workers told The New York Times that the threat of fines and investigations has slowed down the pace of administering vaccines.
In Oregon, Legacy Health threw away 27 doses of the vaccine because they couldn’t find enough health care workers to take the vaccine before it expired, as has been previously reported. An additional 15 doses were reportedly lost by the Oregon Health & Science University after one vial broke and another was improperly mixed. (RELATED: Dem Governors ‘Demand’ More Vaccine Doses From Feds, But Can’t Even Use Up What They Have)
Doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, which must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, were discarded in New Mexico after they potentially overheated during delivery to a hospital, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. The state confirmed that it had thrown away 75 doses of the vaccine after a digital gauge showed that the temperature may have been too warm during the delivery, the outlet reported.
A Wisconsin hospital worker admitted to intentionally wasting 500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine by taking it out of the freezer where it was stored. Advocate Aurora Health, the company that runs Aurora Medical Center, said in a press release that the employee was fired after the incident.