More than 4,000 Moderna vaccine doses wasted in Waterloo Region
More than 4,000 Moderna doses have gone to waste in Waterloo Region.
Friday afternoon, the Region of Waterloo confirmed about 3,100 Moderna doses received from the province had expired.
That number is 1.8 per cent of all Moderna doses received.
"What we have seen across Ontario is that overall rates have dropped off over the last month and our supply is now above the demand," Stuart Gooden, a spokesperson for the region, said in an email. "Some vaccine doses expired in early August but efforts were made in Waterloo Region to reduce the number of expiring doses."
Earlier this week, Kelly Grindrod, the pharmacy lead for the region's vaccine taskforce, confirmed about 990 doses of the Moderna vaccine at local pharmacies went bad in recent weeks.
On Friday morning at the region's weekly COVID-19 briefing, officials were unable to say how many doses had gone bad.
"I don’t have that data specific on hand at all," Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton said.
"It may be something that would have to come out of a provincial data base for accurate information," medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said.
But by the afternoon, officials sent out a release confirming the number of Moderna doses that had gone to waste.
Officials did not provide figures on how many total doses, including other brands, had expired to been trashed throughout the vaccine rollout.
Grindrod said about 3,300 Moderna doses from local pharmacies were at risk of going bad, but 72 per cent of those were able to be used at the Pinebush mass vaccination site in Cambridge.
That left about 990 doses expired.
"We would work with our pharmacy partners and primary care partners, to try to redistribute vaccine among ourselves to reduce wastage when we can," Dr. Wang said.
Earlier this week, health officials in London confirmed 10,000 vaccine doses there went bad.
The Ministry of Health did not provide figures on how many total vaccine doses have expired in Waterloo Region despite repeated requests.
"The Ministry of Health continues to work with public health units to vaccinate as many Ontarians as possible, as well as to redistribute doses to other providers and public health unit regions to ensure doses they are focused in areas of need. We are also working with our federal partners to donate excess vaccine supply," a spokesperson for the ministry said in an emailed statement.