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Monroe man outraged, says pharmacy threw out some COVID vaccines

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A Monroe man is outraged after he says some COVID-19 vaccine was wasted and thrown away.

“Frustration, pain, and simple frustration,” said Gregory Wallace on his experience trying to get the vaccine.

Wallace is upset after he says usable COVID-19 vaccines were thrown out instead of being given to people who actually want them. On Sunday, Wallace took his wife to get her shot at G.B. Cooley Services. CVS was the pharmacy administering the vaccine. Wallace’s wife received a shot. When Wallace asked if he can get a shot with a remaining vaccine their answer left him speechless.

“The lady made a statement to me that they were going to throw those away, and I’m saying why would you throw those away instead of using them. She said it was policy,” Wallace added.

Wallace says when it comes to fighting the pandemic that no vaccine should go unused.

“We’re trying to get people vaccinated, and it doesn’t make any sense to throw vaccines away, and so it was very irritating, very frustrating I eventually calmed down, but I think that someone needed to know about it, and hopefully, somebody will start thinking about that kind of thing” he continued.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health vaccines ordered by a facility and not used can be given to people who are not eligible.

Jeff Toms is the Department of Health Region 8 Administrator, he says every vaccine should find an arm. “That’s not really the protocol; you know you are only supposed to throw them out if they are no longer viable. You always want to find an arm to give it to.”

Wallace says he hopes pharmacies will make smarter decisions in the future.

“We’re trying to get vaccinated. We’re trying to get past COVID, and if we don’t do the things that need to be done smartly, then we’re not going to get there.”

CVS released the following statement:

“We follow all CDC and manufacturer guidelines with regard to the proper storage and distribution of each COVID-19 vaccine. If one of our long-term care facility vaccination teams is onsite and cannot use all doses requested by the facility, our team determines if the remaining doses will remain clinically viable and can be transported for use at another facility or for another eligible population. In the rare instance that doses have reached their expiration, they are disposed of per CDC and manufacturer guidelines.”

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