PHILADELPHIA (UKTN) – At one point during the coronavirus pandemic, it was difficult to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Now, with an increase in supply, there is a new challenge: the waste of vaccine doses.
Once a vile vaccine was opened, those doses inside have a short duration where they can be used, so it was a major effort to try and prevent wastage, but it seems crowds weren’t just not so impatient.
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“I just literally saw it in my Facebook feed,” said Dennis, a Philadelphia.
Dennis decided to get his dose of Pfizer after seeing an urgent social media post.
About 1,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses were left behind after a city-hosted weekend event, the expiration clock was now counted.
Centennial Pharmacy co-owner Dr. Joseph Dymowski got the call for help on Monday afternoon.
“Around 12 o’clock we asked if we could get rid of it, if we had a possibility to get rid of the dosage and we said pass it on, we’ll try,” Dymowski said.
The Centennial Pharmacy on Delaware Avenue received the doses around 2 p.m. Monday and had less than 24 hours to administer them to walk-in patients.
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“It expires around 1-1:30, so we’re hoping to get a lot more by then so we don’t have to throw it out,” said Centennial Pharmacy co-owner Cindi Dymowski.
13 hours came and went, however, and of the 1,000 available doses, 540 had to be thrown away.
“We had a steady line of people all day,” said Joseph Dymowski. “We just haven’t had this big push, so that’s where we feel the enthusiasm for the vaccine started to wane.”
According to city health officials, most people who are very keen on getting vaccinated have probably already been.
Data from the city shows that more than 493,000 people are now fully vaccinated, of whom nearly 248,000 have received at least one vaccine.
Officials are now focusing on providing more vaccination locations, so that everyone can easily get the two full doses of COVID-19 protection.
With those 540 vaccines thrown away, Centennial Pharmacy simply continued to serve walk-in patients with their Pfizer vaccines, and will continue to do so. They have walk-in appointments available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday every week.
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Officials say anyone who has not been vaccinated or needs their second dose should also consider visiting the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Officials say 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to expire on Thursday.