GREEN BAY – Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s efforts to get extra doses out of the vial were due to 191 doses of COVID-19 vaccines being poured out by February, according to the health system.
Those doses were discarded after vaccines failed to get a sixth dose from Pfizer BioNTech vials, an Aurora spokesman said in a statement. The reporting period runs from the week of December 13th to the week of February 21st.
The Pfizer vials initially contained five doses, but vaccination sites began to see that they could squeeze an additional sixth dose out of them. However, some vials did not have enough for a full sixth dose of the vaccine. If a vial does not have the 0.3 milliliters required for a full dose, Pfizer says it must be discarded and cannot be combined with a vaccine from another vial.
Overall, however, few doses have been wasted in the state. The state’s corruption rate was 0.16%, according to the Associated Press. Nationwide, fewer than 2,400 doses of the vaccine had been wasted by February.
In the first few weeks of vaccine distribution in Green Bay, Aurora BayCare disposed of more vaccine doses than in later weeks. Most, 89 doses, were lost in the week of December 20, with another 42 discarded the following week, according to the State Department of Health Services.
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Since the end of January, the hospital has improved the number of tainted doses. After January 24, Aurora BayCare only reported a total of 12 wasted doses, according to DHS.
“Like many other vendors who had difficulty extracting a sixth dose from Pfizer vials early on, we have improved our efficiency significantly. We have also implemented a program to check unused doses daily and ensure protective measures to minimize waste “says the Aurora Declaration.
As of Tuesday, the hospital had administered over 13,600 vaccines, the spokesman said.
Aurora BayCare had the second highest number of wasted doses after Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, due to a former hospital pharmacist who intentionally spoiled over 500 doses of the vaccine.
In Green Bay, Prevea’s vaccination clinic in UW-Green Bay reported a total of 23 wasted doses by February. Bellin Health threw four cans in Marinette.
Over 21% of Brown County’s population has received a dose of vaccine since Thursday, the DHS reported. At least seven out of ten senior citizens in the county got a shot.
Approximately 35,500 people in the county are fully vaccinated, or received both doses of a Moderna or Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccines.
The next group of residents 16 and older may receive a COVID-19 vaccine if they have high-risk conditions including cancer, asthma, obesity, or diabetes.
Initially, the DHS announced that people in Phase 1C could get a vaccine starting March 29, but postponed that schedule to March 22. People in this phase can already make appointments at Prevea Health’s vaccination clinics if the slots are open.
Additional slots will be available at the vaccination facility in Lambeau Field, which replaced Bellin’s vaccination clinic on the Ashwaubenon campus. Vaccinations at Lambeau Field began on Wednesday.
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Contact Benita Mathew at (920) 309-3428 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @benita_mathew.