Over 82 Million Doses Of COVID Vaccines Have Been Discarded In The U.S.

As the demand for COVID vaccines has declined, the number of vaccines that have been discarded has skyrocketed. According to a report by NBC Newsover 82 million vaccines have been thrown away since they were first approved in December 2020.

Over 37% of the discarded vaccines came from three national retail chains, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. CVS was forced to throw away nearly 11.8 million doses, while Walmart tossed around 10 million doses, and Walgreens discarded an estimated 8.3 million doses.

One of the biggest reasons for the high number of wasted vaccines is that they come in multidose vials. Once the vial is opened, it must be used within a few hours, or it will spoil. Another reason for the waste is the large minimum orders, which left pharmacies overstocked with the vaccines. With low demand, those vials sat unused and eventually expired. In other cases, power outages or mishandling of the vaccines caused them to expire.

“The demand has plateaued or is coming down, and that leads to open-vial wastage — especially with multidose vials,” Ravi Anupindi, a professor of operations research and management at the University of Michigan who has studied vaccination campaigns, told NBC News.

“It’s a demand problem,” he added.

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