Spokane County aims to waste as few vaccines as possible

SPOKANE, Wash. — Millions of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to go to waste. In Spokane County though, the goal is for all vaccines to be used.

The Spokane Regional Health District is working with the Washington State Department of Health to waste fewer vaccines.

The joint effort focuses on distributing vaccines to places they will get used before they pass their expiration date.

“As part of the agreement when you decided to be a COVID provider with DOH, the expectation is that you will inform them 90 days before any vaccine will expire,” said Kayla Myers, SRHD’s Immunizations Program Coordinator.

This notice gives providers 30 days to help find a different clinic that can administer the doses before they expire.

“DOH lets us know we kind of come in and help them transport vaccines if needed or help them find ways to increase the output of administering the vaccines,” Myers said.

It’s important to preserve COVID-19 vaccines, especially with cases on the rise, including in Spokane County.

Discovery Health, one of Spokane’s testing centers, reported seeing higher testing volumes compared to recent months.

“Also the positivity rate is definitely increasing. We are kind of seeing a surge rate for positivity that we are seeing previously around 18-percent,” said Hailey Normandin, Spokane Regional Manager of Discovery Health.

SRHD says they have wasted 33 doses so far in April due to vials being punctured, and not expiring.

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