COVID-19 vaccines go to waste— experts say supply outpacing demand

1 month 1 week 1 day ago Wednesday, May 12 2021 May 12, 2021 May 12, 2021 10:05 PM May 12, 2021 in News - Local

As the effort to vaccinate younger children begins, another type of COVID-19 vaccine may be going to waste.

At one point, the COVID-19 vaccine was treated like the most precious liquid on the planet, but now some experts say many doses are going to waste.

"Just a few weeks ago, we were told, 'don't waste a single dose,'" UTRGV Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Dobbs said. "[Now] the guidance is basically, if— one person shows up and wants a dose of the vaccine, go ahead and crack open a whole vial. Even if you have to waste the rest of the doses."

Experts say the supply is outpacing the demand, especially for the Johnson and Johnson single-shot vaccine.

Director of Pharmacy at Mission Regional Medical Center Imelda Ochoa says she's seen reluctance towards the J&J vaccine since the April pause.

Ochoa said while the pause did occur, the benefit of receiving a vaccine still puts people at an advantage against the virus.

She said different populations benefit from one injection. "That way, you're fully vaccinated," she said. "Within 14 days, you have full immunity."

But Ochoa said out of the 200 J&J vaccines available for Friday's vaccine clinic at Mission Regional Medical Center, only 30 doses are claimed.

"It's been proven to be effective," Ochoa said. "It does decrease hospitalizations. It does decrease ICU visits. We need this to be able to get through COVID-19."

For more information or to register for Friday's clinic, call (956) 323-1104.

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