1,315 doses of vaccine discarded after expiration

This week ice and snow closed the vaccination centers

by: David Royer, WREG Web

Posted: Feb 19, 2021 / 3:13 PM CST
Updated: February 19, 2021 / 3:27 PM CST

(AP Photo / John Locher, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Health officials confirmed Friday that more than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that were supposed to expire had to be discarded this week.

Most Shelby County’s Department of Health vaccination centers were closed and vaccination appointments were closed due to the ice, snow and extreme cold last week.

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Dr. Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County’s Department of Health, said the department was able to dispense “well over 2,000” cans this week before they expired, despite challenges from ice and snow. Many of these cans went to teachers and others to county inmates and inmates.

“Most of our vaccine has been used and we were able to get that out of it despite the bad weather,” she said.

Haushalter said some doses of the Pfizer vaccine were prepared for those who had scheduled appointments, but all COVID vaccination sites were closed due to the weather on Thursday. These cans must be used within five days of removal from the frozen state.

On Friday, the unused cans were discovered on the day they were supposed to expire. They had to be thrown away.

“If we had known an expiration date, we would have done everything we could to get it out,” said Haushalter.

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According to the housekeeper, a health department pharmacist signed through Regional One is responsible for following the vaccine’s expiration dates.

Haushalter said the department will start removing only small amounts of vaccines.

Starting next week, the Shelby County Health Department will begin vaccinating teachers and people over the age of 65.

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