20 Dec WisPolitics: State seeing roughly 20K COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted each week
At least 393,810 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been wasted in Wisconsin since the vaccines became available in December 2020, according to state DHS numbers reviewed by WisBusiness.com.
That’s about 4 percent of the more than 9.8 million total doses the state has received. The number of doses wasted each week has largely been escalating over the course of the pandemic, according to data provided by the agency in response to a public records request. Dose wastage began ramping up significantly in the spring, when the rate of new vaccinations in Wisconsin saw its steepest decline.
Health officials attribute vaccine waste to vials or syringes being broken or lost, vials being opened but not fully used, and doses being drawn into syringes but not administered. Still, this level of waste isn’t limiting the number of available doses, as the state has plenty of vaccines available according to the Department of Health Services. The agency has been urging providers to prioritize getting people vaccinated over avoiding waste, so some clinics might open a vial only to administer several doses, leading to more waste.