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21 doses of COVID-19 vaccine wasted in the Rio Grande Valley, state data shows

3 weeks 17 hours 15 minutes ago Friday, February 05 2021 Feb 5, 2021 February 05, 2021 9:14 AM February 05, 2021 in News

The state is keeping count of how many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being wasted, including numbers for the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas Department of State Health Services data shows that Texas has distributed more than 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine—and that Texas providers have wasted 1,751 doses.

In the Rio Grande Valley, the state count says just 21 doses of vaccine have been wasted, including:

  • 9 at Rio Grande State Center in Harlingen; 2 were spoiled and 7 for other reasons
  • 1 at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen due to mechanical failure
  • 10 at Saenz Medical Center in La Joya
  • 1 at DSHS Rio Grande City

In the labs that prepare the vaccine, special care has to be taken to prevent waste, including keeping doses at ultra cold temperatures and proper dose distribution in each syringe.

Texas providers are now following guidance to get the vaccine to whoever is available when time is of the essence.

"We've been asked for the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC, not to waste it,” said Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo. “If at all possible, give it to anybody you can find. If you're at the last minute and you have some left over, give it to somebody."

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