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What's being done to make sure COVID vaccine doesn't go to waste

When a vial is opened, vaccine must be used quickly
Vaccine at IU Health
Posted at 8:24 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 20:30:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV is working to answer your questions about what happens to extra doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the end of each day. Both Moderna and Pfizer have to be used within six hours after a vial is opened, so what happens if some vaccine is left over.

Leaders at IU Health say they have a procedure in place to make sure those does get to eligible Hoosiers.
“This is solid gold. Every shot is a potential life saved. That is how we treat it and so we want to make sure we get shots in arms, that we are doing our part to have zero waste,” said Kristen Kelley, IU Health Nursing Director of Infection Prevention.

Kelley says if there are extra doses at the end of the day they take them over to the hospital and give them to healthcare workers who are still waiting on their vaccination appointment.

Other hospitals in the area have similar procedures in place. “Eskenazi Health works to ensure that no vaccines are wasted by keeping a list of healthcare workers and public safety employees who need to receive the vaccine. As we get near the end of the day, we determine how many vaccines we will have left and then call those on our list to come in and get vaccinated. This ensures that we do not waste any vaccines. With our process in place, there is no need for people to come in at the end of the day looking for doses,” said Thomas Surber with Eskenazi Health.

“Franciscan Health Indianapolis has not had to dispose of a single dose of vaccine due to a lack of eligible staff members since we began administering the medication on Dec. 18. We have brought eligible but not-yet-vaccinated staff members to the Vaccine Clinic for extra doses. We have an internal process for communicating this opportunity,” said Joe Stuteville with Franciscan Health.

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