How one system to share vaccines, reduce waste works

North Carolina news

FILE – In this March 29, 2021 file photo, a worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Metairie, La. Even people who have recovered from COVID-19 are urged to get vaccinated to avoid reinfection, especially amid the threat of the extra-contagious delta variant — and there’s growing evidence the shots offer those survivors bonus protection against mutants.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One option for public health leaders wishing to reduce the number of wasted doses of COVID-19 vaccine: sending doses to other places that could use them before they expire.

Of the more than a quarter of a million doses of vaccine that have gone to waste in North Carolina so far, roughly a quarter — 51,750 of them — were discarded because they expired.

Jordan DeAngelis, the COVID-19 vaccine coordinator at Duke University Health Systems, says officials there have partners across both Durham County and the state to pool vaccine where there is a need.

“That was we can all be good stewards and use up the supply that North Carolina already has,” DeAngelis said.

State Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Catie Armstrong says the agency’s top priority “continues to be increasing vaccine uptake, which reduces the number of expiring doses.”

She says DHHS is working with federal retail pharmacy providers to transfer doses to their sites “as they work to assist states in using on-hand doses as opposed to ordering new doses.”

CBS 17’s Joedy McCreary has been tracking COVID-19 figures since March 2020, compiling data from federal, state and local sources to deliver a clear snapshot of what the coronavirus situation looks like now and what it could look like in the future.

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