Distribution challenges force disposal of expired coronavirus vaccine doses

(Madison Pitsch)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:40 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 22 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed to healthcare facilities across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But only about seven million people have received the first dose.

Some hospitals are forced to throw away vaccines that quickly expire once they were taken out of cold storage. Dr. Joseph Flynn with Norton Healthcare in Louisville says they’re working quickly and aggressively.

“It really is a careful monitoring of the doses you have, who’s on your list,” Dr. Flynn said. “You only thaw out the doses you know you’re going to be giving. And that’s why it’s so important that we’ve been using risk of exposure and setting up appointments for people so we match up the dose with the person.”

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has received 239,550 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to its latest report on Friday. Between 32 locations, 107,799 doses have been administered so far, leaving 131,751 still available.

Dr. Flynn says Norton has administered more than 11,000 doses so far - and ready for more.

“We’re limited just by the number of doses that we’re getting from the federal authorities and that’s important. the companies are rolling them out as quickly as they can and we’re willing and ready to administer as able.”

Friday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the state set a new goal to administer 90% of all vaccines received in the state within seven days of arrival.

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