Maricopa County discards over 500 COVID-19 vaccines through first month

Feb 3, 2021, 5:37 AM | Updated: 7:58 am
(Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)...
(Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
(Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Public Health said Tuesday some unused coronavirus vaccines have been thrown out but the action helps maintain quality.

A total of 553 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been discarded out of the 153,196 doses administered from Dec. 17 to Jan. 20, according to a press release.

“No usable dose of COVID-19 vaccine is being wasted,” the county said in the release. “We have worked closely with our health care partners to report to us daily what they consider vaccine waste.

“That means if there is any concern about the quality of the vaccine or any information is not readable on the label, manufacturers have advised providers to throw out the vaccine in order to maintain a safe operation.”

Reasons for discarding vaccines can vary from manufacturing issues to equipment malfunctions. Some issues include vials without labels or expiration dates, particulate matter present in the vial, partially filled vials and needle or syringe malfunctions.

The county has implemented multiple procedures to reduce the waste of the vaccines, which must be thawed before injection.

Those processes include using five regional distribution sites so all doses that are packaged per vial can be used without waste.

Officials have also made scheduled appointments a requirement in order to help monitor how many vaccine vials need to be used and thawed before patients arrive.

To compensate for cancellations and no-shows, the county has been distributing leftover doses to eligible health care workers and law enforcement, who have been notified ahead of time to standby for potentially receiving the vaccines.

The county says standard wastage for vaccines is typically around 5%. Arizona’s distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has discarded just .3%.

On Tuesday, Arizona ranked 32nd out of 50 states in shots per 100,000 residents, according to tracking by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The state health department website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Commerce Authority Photo)...

Aviation facility in Goodyear welcomes first class of aspiring pilots Monday

A new aviation training facility in the West Valley will welcome its first class of aspiring pilots Monday, the Arizona Commerce Authority announced.
8 hours ago
FILE - In this July 16, 2019, file photo, officers taking part in training load gun clips with ammu...

Phoenix man sentenced to over 3 years in prison for ammunition smuggle attempt

A Valley man was sentenced to over three years in prison on Wednesday for attempting to smuggle ammunition from the United States into Mexico last year, authorities said.
8 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Southbound SR 87 lanes reopened after crash east of Shea Boulevard

The southbound lanes have reopened on State Route 87 near the Fort McDowell Rodeo Grounds following a crash.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/ Buckeye Police Department)...

Police arrest suspect after deadly shooting in Buckeye

Police arrested a suspect without incident after a fatal shooting near Yuma and Dean Roads in Buckeye Friday evening.
1 day ago
(Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team Photo)...

Officers seize over 100 pounds of cocaine at Arizona-California border

Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division officers seized over 100 pounds of cocaine on Tuesday at a port of entry near the California state line, authorities said. 
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Scottsdale man accused of stealing millions in music royalties

A Scottsdale man is one of two people accused of stealing millions of dollars in music royalties over the past five years, authorities said Wednesday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Maricopa County discards over 500 COVID-19 vaccines through first month