15 Million Covid Vaccine Doses Thrown Away In The US Since March

The U.S. government has thrown away 15 million doses of the vaccine, Covid, since the March 22nd release of the first round of this year's data on side effects of the vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously thought that only 1 million doses had been wasted and reported that information to Congress in April. The latest report shows that many more doses were wasted than was originally believed and that the estimate is now closer to 15 million doses wasted since late March, according to a news release from The Daily Beast.

15 Million Covid Vaccine Doses Thrown Away In The US Since March

The U.S. government has thrown away 15 million doses of the vaccine, Covid, since the March 22nd release of the first round of this year's data on side effects of the vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously thought that only 1 million doses had been wasted and reported that information to Congress in April. The latest report shows that many more doses were wasted than was originally believed and that the estimate is now closer to 15 million doses wasted since late March, according to a news release from The Daily Beast.

What is Covid?
Covid is a "live" vaccine that is given by needle. It is given to people who have been exposed to swine flu, particularly a high-risk group of people who have traveled to Mexico or live in areas of high flu activity. It works by boosting the immune system's response to the influenza virus so that it can fight the virus. The vaccine is administered to a person via a large injection into the muscle just below the shoulder blade. The vaccine was developed by Sanofi Pasteur and Amgen under a $1.3 billion contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The main side effects associated with the vaccine include hives, nausea, vomiting, itching and rash. All doses of the vaccine will be given out to the U.S. military and some to the U.S. and non-U.S.

Why did the U.S. government waste so many doses of Covid?
It appears that the government is unable to identify Covid doses because of all the black market dealings of its drug. The CDC initially released the drug at a cost of $2,000 a dose for many children. After the drug was found to be ineffective, the government was forced to cancel orders on the drug and millions of doses were delivered to scrap dealers and dirty doctors. These stockpiles of vaccine could have been used by the U.S. government to stockpile another vaccine, that could be released in 2019, said Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield, a doctor in the U.K., caused a massive outbreak of measles, that was blamed on the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, because his research found no evidence that the vaccine was harmful, according to the Daily Beast. Wakefield had traveled to the U.S.

How many doses were wasted?
Since March, the government has destroyed more than 15 million doses of the same vaccine, which was the first-ever unused vaccine provided to the U.S. public, according to the report. If each vial of the vaccine contained a single dose, the government could have made $82.7 million with the vaccine. The vaccine has side effects and is not suitable for immunizing infants or anyone who might be allergic to it. The vaccine is composed of a synthetic DNA molecule that is coated with antibodies to match a sample of virus (called an epitope). So, in this case, the epitope used to generate the vaccine was known to be specific to Ebola.

Is Covid a Failure?
The 15 million lost doses of vaccine is a lot of vaccine. But if you break it down, it is a drop in the bucket when compared to the stockpile of 300 million doses of the rotavirus vaccine alone that the CDC keeps in reserve. "I'm trying to be hopeful that maybe they will be getting better at this," says Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, who was once the CDC's top doctor. Tomaselli recently wrote a New England Journal of Medicine editorial calling for the manufacturer, Merck, to do a better job of protecting against vaccine waste. In the same editorial, Tomaselli and a team of doctors, epidemiologists, and public health researchers also called for more national efforts to make sure all vaccines are being fully utilized. "Vaccines save lives," Tomaselli says.

The CDC's estimate of 1 million doses thrown away for the period of March 24-30th is an understatement and probably close to actual number. What will be seen with more analysis of the complete data for all of 2018 is how many doses were wasted for the entire year, not just the past 3 months. Total doses of Cervarix were only 1.3 million. That is about 0.5 percent of the total doses of Cervarix used, according to the latest report for the year. The same proportion for the total doses of the vaccine's competitor, GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Pentavaccine, shows that almost 4.5 million doses were not used in the United States for 2017. As of June, GlaxoSmithKline's corporate average was 4,432,000 doses per day of Pentavaccine used in the United States.