COVID-19 vaccines going to waste across Kansas City metro as demand for doses drops

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MISSION, Kan. — Making calls daily and checking emails religiously. This was the lifestyle for people aggressively seeking the COVID 19 vaccine in the not-so-distant past.

How quickly things change.

Now there is a glut of doses but patients are not as easy to find. The issue is that vials of the vaccine that need to be defrosted and diluted but at a walk-in clinic you are not guaranteed that people will come in. The result is that the acceptability for vaccine waste has risen, health professionals said to allow them to be more flexible.

Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said that matching supply with a perfectly-matching-proportion of supply is easier said than done.

“We have vaccine clinics every week. for instance, we had one yesterday – we had six people come. We are not seeing the demand for the vaccine that we are encouraging,” Weir said.

“This could have been avoided. We have had a very difficult time utilizing the vaccine that we have available. It’s sitting in a freezer getting closer and closer to its expiration date,” Weir said.

“We’ve had to discard vaccine that wasn’t used by its expiration date,” Weir said.

In Johnson County, Health Services Division Director Stacie Province said they are offering the vaccine to patients who come for other services at their Olathe location. But they also still offer walk-in opportunities now in Mission, Kansas.

“We are still very conservative. We always are keeping an eye on how many vials we have open vs how many people we know are waiting for a vaccine. So we still do have that in our mind and we are still aware of that,” Province said.

“However, if we open a vial and we can only get three out of the six doses out of that vial, we’re going to open it so we can vaccinate those people while they’re here,” Province said.

Those actions are in line with the guidance from the CDC.

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