Pharmacies, states, U.S. territories, and federal agencies discarded 82.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from December 2020 through mid-May, according to data the CDC shared with NBC News. The report showed that CVS and Walmart threw away over a quarter of the doses in the U.S. at that time because of the large volume of vaccines they handled.
According to NBC, Health Mart, DaVita, Rite Aid, Publix, and Costco also wasted a high number–over a quarter of the vaccine doses they received. Oklahoma, which tossed out 28% of the nearly 4 million doses it received, and Alaska, which threw away almost 27% of its 1 million doses, also did not use over a quarter of their supply.
Why? The report says some doses expired or were spoiled by power outages or broken freezers. Some were discarded when no one wanted the last few doses in an open vial.
According to the CDC, each COVID vaccine product has different limits on the time vials remained buyable once removed from the freezer or refrigerator.
Click ▶️ to listen to AURN Washington Correspondent Ebony McMorris’s report: