Officials probe usable COVID-19 vaccines thrown away in New Jersey
New Jersey has given out
more than 214,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but following Gov. Phil Murphy’s news conference Monday,
state officials say the federal government is to blame for New Jersey not
having more vaccine to make available.
Still, the state has only used about 40% of the doses it does have, and some
of the available shots end up in the garbage
State health Commissioner Judith
Persichelli says her department is tracking that, but she couldn't provide specifics, saying she
didn't have the numbers in front of her to determine how many shots are wasted.
She added it's minimal in connection to the number of doses out there and says
vaccine sites should try to give leftover shots to anyone, even those still
technically not eligible to avoid waste.
Dr. Paul Persaud is the health officer in Paterson. He admits at the
beginning of the rollout, they had to get rid of some shots and says they are
figuring this out as they go.
"Like today, we had, I
said 110 doses, but in reality, after that we realized it's not 110, it's 114
doses," says Dr. Persaud. “Talking about a few doses, but still very useful in a time when the
vaccine is scarce."
But Persaud says that he
doesn't know that until they go through the vials. Four people were willing to
wait on Monday to see, so those four doses did not go to waste.
Persuade says he will now create a pool of seniors who can come at short notice
and receive the vaccination in an effort to use every shot made available.