Wisconsin wasted 2,247 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The numbers the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shared Friday afternoon are from the time vaccinations started in December through February. Madison has an African American population of 7%.
Milwaukee resident Betty Thomas has a disability, is still waiting, and now questions the wasted doses.
Advocate Aurora Health sent this statement:
“We continue to believe that vaccination is our way out of this pandemic and are focused on using 100 percent of our available supplies every week. Since the isolated incident at Grafton in December and like many other providers who experienced early challenges extracting a sixth dose from Pfizer vials, we’ve significantly improved our efficiency. We’ve also implemented a program to review unused doses daily and ensure safeguards to minimize waste.”
The largest statewide waste was a December sabotage at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton. A former pharmacist, Steven Brandenburg, pleaded guilty to spoiling 518 doses.
In Sheboygan, St. Nicholas Hospital wasted 145 doses, according to the state data. The hospital blames human error.
“HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital learned that 28 vials of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine were unintentionally left out unrefrigerated on the night of Feb. 8, 2021. Upon immediate review of the situation, the hospital concluded that these vials were set aside while sorting vaccine; and as a result of human error, the 28 vials were inadvertently left out rather than placed back in the refrigerator as is standard protocol. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital firmly believes this situation was a result of human error and not intentional. The hospital has taken this incident very seriously and used it to improve processes and put additional measures in place to ensure it will not happen again.”
Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, wasted 191 doses.
More than 2,200 vaccine doses spoiled or were wasted from December through February, when 1.4 million doses were administered representing 0.15% waste.
“We don’t want to have any vaccine wasted. The goal for such a valuable commodity is zero. That’s the ultimate goal,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, American Public Health Association executive.
All places that receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine have to sign and agree to various federal requirements — including to report vaccine doses spoiled, expired, or wasted.