DHEC officials say COVID-19 vaccine waste is minimal

VIDEO: DHEC officials say COVID-19 vaccine waste is minimal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The state health department says that despite the number of vaccines given some are still going to waste.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the waste is minimal when you consider that 800,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in South Carolina.

The lost vaccines are called “unusable doses” which are doses that are lost, not administered or the vial or syringe is broken.

Broken vials and syringes are the most common form of unusable dose accounting for 2,619 of the lost vaccines.

“Providers have indicated the largest contributor to an unusable dose is a broken vial or syringe,” Senior Deputy of Public Health Nick Davidson says. “These could be vials or syringes that were damaged during shipping or transfer to storage freezers or they could be dropped while being handled, or really a variety of other reasons frankly.”

Davidson says he’s proud of the vaccine providers for not breaking more vials and says it’s tricky to manipulate the tiny vials while wearing gloves.

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