More Than 500,000 COVID Vaccine Doses Set To Expire
June 16, 2021
By Jessica Mathews / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines are set to expire within the next two months.
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin says they’ve seen a shift in demand for all COVID-19 vaccines, which is similar to what’s being experienced across the United States. She says they continue to work to bring vaccines to Michiganders into the communities where they live through community clinics, primary care physicians, and mobile clinics as they work to vaccinate 70% and more of the state’s residents.
Sutfin told WHMI they estimate at least 240,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson will be expiring between June 13th and August 1st, around 50,000 Moderna doses between June 20th and August 8th, and about 250,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that will expire between June 30th and July 31st.
Due to gaps in the information provided on administered doses and transfers of vaccine, Sutfin said they have limited ability to assess expiration for each J&J dose in provider's inventories. Sutfin offered some reasons that the inventory data in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry or MCIR is missing information needed for the calculation.
She says many providers who were new to MCIR redistributed doses to other providers without updating their inventory records in the registry; other providers who were inexperienced with MCIR administered doses without being enrolled in the MCIR COVID outbreak module – therefore they had no access to inventory record-keeping for the COVID-19 vaccine; many inexperienced providers are reporting doses administered without including lot numbers – making it impossible to deduct these doses from their inventory; and vial sizes changed, causing a mismatch between the official number of doses distributed and the actual number of doses administered.
Sutfin said the Department has provided information about expiring vaccines to providers across the state and continues to provide educational materials for managing inventory. To help address the issue, she says the state has been filling vaccine requests from providers with soon-to-expire doses rather than ordering additional vaccine. Local health departments are also re-distributing vaccines to high throughput sites whenever possible. Hospitals are being urged to provide vaccinations before discharge, especially to long-term, congregate settings.
Sutfin added the state is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try and redistribute vaccines to others states as well as large pharmacy chains within Michigan.