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Due to a Fractured Supply Chain - Thousands of Vaccines are Wasted Featured

Due to a Fractured Supply Chain - Thousands of  Vaccines are Wasted "Covid-19 Vaccine Bottle Mockup (does not depict actual vaccine)."

The supply chain was already fractured before Covid-19 – but the pandemic that has been plaguing the globe for over a year made it worse. At the start of the pandemic grocery stores could not stock their shelves fast enough which created a shortage of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and food. One year later – shelves are stocked, but vaccine distribution is creating challenges for the industry causing disruption to vaccine deliveries.

When I previously wrote about this topic – the fracture was at the beginning of the chain. Pfizer was having difficulties sourcing the raw materials needed to create the vaccine itself. According to Pfizer’s spokeswoman Amy Rose, “We [Pfizer">Fox News estimates Florida alone has wasted over 3,500 doses.

There’s not one main cause that is leading to these shortages. In some cases the refrigerators that have stored the vaccines have malfunctioned. In other cases people do not show up for their appointment leading to extra doses.  Furthermore, states are adhering to strict guidelines as to who is allowed to get the doses.

So how do we solve this problem? One of the issues is the amount of vaccines that each state receives. "We do need more vaccine. There's not enough of it in this country at this time to meet the demand," said Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Banner Health's chief clinical officer. Because there are not enough vaccines in the state, it makes it even more crucial to ensure that every vaccine gets used.

Another issue is relaxing the strict guidelines when it comes to doses that are about to expire. I am not suggesting that just anyone can sign up for a vaccine, but I am saying that if given the choice between throwing a vaccine out versus giving it to a healthy 28 year-old – why waste it? A few pharmacies around the country agree and have created waiting lists for any leftover doses.  “If there are people available at the end of the day to be vaccinated, then you should vaccinate them,” D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt stated.

Is this the last of the issues when it comes to the vaccine supply chain? Probably not. But according to Jeff Macias, a professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University – it will improve. "When we expand everything to allow everybody to go through the queue, you're going to see the same supply-demand issues that we're seeing today, and it might get a little bit worse than it gets better,” he says.

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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