Two national pharmacy chains that the federal government entrusted to inoculate people against Covid-19 account for the lion’s share of wasted vaccine doses.
New data is showing that the two national pharmacy chains entrusted to administer coronavirus vaccines wasted tens of thousands of doses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 182,874 wasted doses of vaccine as of late March, according to reports. CVS was responsible for almost half of all wasted doses, while Walgreens was responsible for almost a quarter.
The two major chains wasted more doses than nearly all states, U.S. territories and federal agencies combined.
The greatest source of waste is vaccine storage. The COVID-19 vaccines must be stored at ultracold temperatures.
According to a report from NBC News, nearly all of the waste incurred by CVS happened early in the rollout when the pharmacy giant was enlisted by the administration of former President Donald Trump to vaccinate residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term care centers.
The Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine, which, in December, was the first to be deployed, reportedly made up nearly 60 percent of the thrown-out doses.
“To me, this ultimately correlates with just poor planning,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, a critic of the corporate effort. He served as immediate past president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine.
“CVS and Walgreens didn’t have a clue when it came to interacting with nursing homes,” Wasserman told NBC. “Missed opportunities for vaccination in long-term care invariably results in deaths.”