Indiana sees 62,000 wasted COVID-19 doses as shot rate slows

That is about 1% of the some 6 million vaccine shots that have been given in Indiana since they first became available in December, but a sign of the struggle that officials face in raising the state’s vaccination rate.

Posted: Aug 21, 2021 3:44 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials have counted about 62,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines being tossed out in recent months as the number of people seeking the shots has fallen drastically.

That is about 1% of the some 6 million vaccine shots that have been given in Indiana since they first became available in December, but a sign of the struggle that officials face in raising the state’s vaccination rate.

The state health department said vaccine doses can go unused by reaching their expiration date or a vial breaking and that officials knew eventually vaccine supply would outstrip demand.

“We are taking every action possible to minimize wastage, including urging providers to use doses with the nearest expiration dates first and encouraging Hoosiers to get vaccinated if they are eligible,” the agency said in a statement. “In addition, we have been working with healthcare providers to allow them to order small batches of vaccine to have in their offices for patients and have increased the number of mobile vaccination clinics we are deploying across the state.”

States across the country have been trying to salvage expiring shots amid the summer surge in infections tied to the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.

About 45% of Indiana residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the 16th lowest rate among the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Indiana’s vaccination rate has fallen from about 50,000 a day in April to about 10,000 a day in recent weeks. The state health department reported Indiana hospitals were treating 1,744 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday — a 22% increase in one week and quadruple the number from mid-July.

The agency on Friday also added 14 recent coronavirus-related deaths to the state’s toll, giving Indiana 14,228 confirmed or probably COVID-19 fatalities during the pandemic. Indiana’s seven-day rolling average of deaths has jumped to 11 a day after it had fallen to two a day a month ago.

Joe Gries, the health department director in Evansville’s Vanderburgh County, said residents hesitant about getting vaccinated should seek out reliable sources of information, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If you’re on social media, or if you’re listening to less-than-reputable sources, it’s not quality information,” Gries said.

Distributing vaccine doses so that few go to waste is complex as the vaccines must be stored at different temperatures and vary on how long they can be used after a vial has been unfrozen, said Jason LeMaster, the heath department administrator for Hamilton County in suburban Indianapolis.

The state’s number of wasted vaccine doses seemed low compared to the 3 million resident who’ve been fully vaccinated, he said.

“No one wants to lose any because it’s precious,” LeMaster said. “It’s a precious commodity, and we want it in arms more than we would want to lose it.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1000163

Reported Deaths: 16309
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1347632106
Lake660041156
Allen57441793
Hamilton46100461
St. Joseph44109607
Elkhart35696507
Vanderburgh32087477
Tippecanoe27796257
Johnson24902443
Hendricks23738354
Porter22802362
Madison18614404
Clark18424250
Vigo17347301
Monroe15180197
LaPorte15046250
Delaware14984259
Howard14626287
Kosciusko12217147
Hancock11630175
Bartholomew11505179
Warrick11255189
Floyd11013214
Wayne10897250
Grant9964218
Morgan9404176
Boone8863116
Dubois8227130
Dearborn817093
Henry8139151
Noble7984106
Marshall7838134
Cass7499119
Lawrence7403170
Shelby7138114
Jackson694088
Gibson6533113
Harrison644491
Huntington633999
Knox6273106
DeKalb626397
Montgomery6208109
Miami589797
Putnam575377
Clinton570271
Whitley560455
Steuben554675
Wabash5279101
Jasper524475
Jefferson506996
Ripley495685
Adams476073
Daviess4616113
Scott435869
Greene422096
Wells420987
Clay420260
White415962
Decatur4133101
Fayette404286
Jennings385160
Posey375343
LaGrange353978
Washington353249
Randolph341999
Spencer337342
Fountain332558
Sullivan326752
Starke313369
Owen312070
Fulton306567
Orange291762
Jay280445
Perry264752
Franklin264042
Carroll259132
Rush258832
Vermillion255454
Parke230026
Pike227943
Tipton226659
Blackford190540
Pulaski181855
Crawford158623
Newton156048
Benton150217
Brown144547
Martin137419
Switzerland134211
Warren120516
Union106815
Ohio84112
Unassigned0538

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1499485

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1626291662
Cuyahoga1447662412
Hamilton1044761409
Montgomery731681240
Summit610421094
Lucas55643904
Butler51076707
Stark459431053
Lorain35141568
Warren32476369
Mahoning30315672
Clermont27930321
Lake26669434
Delaware23960162
Licking23547283
Trumbull22550552
Fairfield22179241
Greene22098311
Medina21763305
Clark19630349
Richland18342280
Portage17696247
Wood17244220
Allen15730269
Miami15355296
Muskingum14551174
Columbiana13756263
Wayne13585263
Tuscarawas12479298
Marion11797175
Scioto11388154
Pickaway11286141
Erie10676180
Ross10462196
Lawrence9663137
Hancock9546149
Ashtabula9479197
Belmont9133197
Geauga8829157
Jefferson8481191
Huron8229139
Union810756
Washington8031137
Sandusky7724145
Athens769572
Knox7606138
Darke7553151
Seneca7208144
Ashland6817125
Auglaize667896
Shelby6410111
Brown628582
Crawford6184130
Defiance6087102
Mercer608293
Fulton592996
Highland590099
Madison587576
Clinton576190
Logan574692
Guernsey572467
Preble5660121
Putnam5250108
Williams520184
Perry512561
Champaign505071
Jackson498770
Ottawa479086
Coshocton471582
Morrow451256
Pike430762
Fayette422160
Adams411587
Gallia411265
Hardin411076
Van Wert364078
Henry357871
Holmes3567122
Hocking352578
Wyandot317961
Carroll297059
Paulding275945
Meigs259249
Monroe212953
Noble196546
Morgan190832
Harrison178242
Vinton162624
Unassigned05
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