When they first came out, man, the COVID vaccines were just an absolute zeitgeist. People were lining up for them, talking endlessly about them, relentlessly posting about them on social media. It was basically like how it used to be whenever a new Grand Theft Auto video game was released. It was a big cultural event!
Now—ahh, now they literally can't throw them away fast enough:
As demand for COVID-19 vaccines collapses in many areas of the U.S., states are scrambling to use stockpiles of doses before they expire and have to be added to the millions that have already gone to waste.
From some of the least vaccinated states, like Indiana and North Dakota, to some of the most vaccinated states, like New Jersey and Vermont, public health departments are shuffling doses around in the hopes of finding providers that can use them.
State health departments told The Associated Press they have tracked millions of doses that went to waste, including ones that expired, were in a multi-dose vial that couldn't be used completely or had to be tossed for some other reason like temperature issues or broken vials.
Man, how things can change over the course of just one year! A year ago everyone was knocking back those vaccines like:
Now they're like:
The numbers themselves are staggering:
Nearly 1.5 million doses in Michigan, 1.45 million in North Carolina, 1 million in Illinois and almost 725,000 doses in Washington couldn't be used.
The percentage of wasted doses in California is only about 1.8%, but in a state that has received 84 million doses and administered more than 71 million of them, that equates to roughly 1.4 million doses. Providers there are asked to keep doses until they expire, then properly dispose of them, the California Department of Public Health said.
Good thing Pfizer and Moderna already cashed those checks!
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