Health leaders fear vaccine overflow will cause waste

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Data shows 29% of the state of Texas is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, while millions have received their shot, others are still skeptical, and that skepticism is now causing an overflow for healthcare providers.

Some health leaders said there is still so much resistance from citizens, but to avoid waste, they will continue to educate and encourage the public to get vaccinated.

Lynette Williams is the nursing administrator for the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District, and she said in an effort to use up vaccines the districts have in the refrigerator, they are still doing everything they can to reach people who have not yet gotten their vaccine.

“We send out invitations to our waiting list to see if they want to sign up or we call our friends and family,” Williams said.

As many citizens are opting out of getting vaccinated, are health leaders concerned about waste?

Williams said vaccines are good in the freezer for six months.

“After you open a bottle, it’s only good for six hours, so if you only have three people come in then you need to find seven more if it’s Moderna because it’s ten doses of Moderna, Williams said. “So what we do here is that if we are down to two or three doses we start making phone calls, calling friends and family and usually we can find somebody to fill that, we have not had to waste any vaccine as yet.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said if one person walks in to get their shot and there isn’t another nine to empty the vial, health providers can waste it.

District leaders have no desire to do that, though.

Dr. Keith Williamson, MSU’s Medical Director said for those people who are still skeptical about getting the shot, they will come to it in their own time.

“They say that a doctor’s recommendation can help in that regard so if it helps: it is safe, it’s effective,” Williamson said. “The long-term outcomes of the illness are far, far worse even in the medium and short term, than getting the vaccine.”

As for MSU, “I’m hoping that we will continue to offer clinics with orientation and registration activities, so we can get these students all safe so they enjoy a real college life,” Williamson said.

Williams said the health district will not be ordering any more vaccines because they have 660 first-dose Moderna and 180 second-doses scheduled for May 12.

Both Williamson and Williams encourage residents to get their vaccines.

Williams said the health district is not yet offering walk in clinics so as to avoid waste as well.

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July 23 2021 05:30 am

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