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Thousands of rare Covid shots can be wasted

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Pharmacies set up to manage many shots are worried About waste, and underfunded state and local health departments say they need more money and instructions from the federal government. The Federal Department of Health says the state has what it needs and the government will stop the shortage that arises.

“It’s a concern because we really don’t want to lose a single drop of something like this, and I still don’t have all the answers on how to do this,” Oregon said. Infectious Diseases and Immunization Medical Director Paul Seelac said.

If approved in an emergency, the vaccine is expected to be given to healthcare professionals and the elderly first, further complicating planning efforts.

Most of the concerns stem from the Covid-19 vaccine requirements that Pfizer submitted for FDA review on Friday. It must be kept in ultra-low temperatures and is shipped in a specially designed pizza-shaped box that holds a minimum of 975 servings in 195 glass vials. Thawing and diluting the vial to make 5 shots puts the healthcare professional in a true “use or lose” situation.If not enough people are ready Injections within 6 hours will ruin the vaccine and slow down efforts to counteract hotspots and save lives.

“It would be unacceptable,” said Douglas Hoy, CEO of the National Association of Regional Pharmacists. “Especially at an early stage, it becomes virtually liquid gold.”

Some waste is inevitable in large vaccination programs. But this is not a seasonal flu. The approved Covid-19 vaccine will land during a nearly deadly catastrophic pandemic. With 1.4 million people worldwide (including more than 250,000 in the United States), there is no sign of stopping. Minimizing waste is important because analysts predict that vaccination of all Americans can take months.

According to federal health authorities, the earliest vaccinations will be concentrated in hospitals. Even they can struggle to minimize the number of spoiled doses when vaccination of staff.But the problem of waste is As pharmacies are gradually added to the mix, they grow larger, especially in less populated rural pharmacies.

Health officials in Maryland told the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 5% of the vaccines assigned to the state could rot and become obsolete.

Some local counties have said they may not be able to use up 975 doses on their own. Kurt Seetoo, who manages the vaccination center at the State Department of Health. Maryland is seeking to create a local clinic, bringing together high-priority groups from different local counties to vaccinate all at once.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar told Sirius XM on Friday that Pfizer’s stricter storage requirements make it more suitable for large institutions such as hospitals and large retail pharmacies. Another Covid-19 vaccine maker, Moderna, will soon apply to the FDA for an emergency permit for the shot. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days and at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

Earlier this week, General Gustav Perna, who heads Operation Warpspeed, an initiative of the Trump Cabinet to bring vaccines to market, knew how CVS and Walgreens could do this, and his team worked with the state. “The vaccine is in vain.”

However, Paul Offit, a vaccine researcher at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital and a member of the FDA’s panel of experts on the Covid-19 vaccine, said he was “extremely concerned about the potential waste of Pfizer’s vaccine dose. I’m doing it, “he told reporters. If allowed.

“This will be very difficult. I think there is a steep learning curve here,” said Ofit. “I think there will be a lot of waste, and I think we’ll understand this over time. There are a lot of stumbling blocks …. It takes 6 hours to reconstruct, but this is a precedent. There is no such thing. “

In Oregon, the state may contract with an emergency health care provider to drive a vaccine and distribute it to remote areas. This is an attempt to avoid injections of leftovers.

North Dakota wants to repack the vaccine into small boxes, while allowing the next priority group of people to be quickly identified and vaccinated if the vaccine remains. The state also requires institutions to pre-register patients to ensure that they do not need to be vaccinated. The vaccine program acknowledges that this can delay distribution by one day, but valuable vials need to be preserved. Pfizer says it’s working on smaller pack sizes, but it’s not ready until early next year and it’s unclear if the need to deliver at least five shots will be resolved within a few hours.

Various plans underscore the long-standing concerns raised by public health experts about the hands-off approach that the Trump administration has maintained throughout the pandemic. This also applies to the final round of the vaccine race, where the president was central to the coronavirus response.

“There is a huge leadership gap,” said Georges Benjamin, Secretary-General of the American Public Health Association.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration refuses to share its plans with Joe Biden’s transition team in the presidential election, which said Wednesday that lack of access could hinder the distribution of vaccines.Instead, Biden’s team I got in touch With Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies; Pfizer spokespersons refused to share communication details.

“There is no excuse to not share data and start planning,” Biden said at a news conference. “If you don’t have access to all this data, you’ll be behind an eight-ball for more than a month, and that’s life.”

Hazard challenged the allegations “this morning” at CBS on Friday, saying he was “absolutely wrong.”

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