More than 1,800 COVID-19 vaccines wasted across Wisconsin – WISN Milwaukee

More than 1,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were wasted across Wisconsin, according to the Department of Health Services. Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in WisconsinWISN 12 News investigated state data that shows the number of wasted doses from the start of vaccinations in December through the end of February. The records do not include the 34 vaccines that were wasted last week at the Wisconsin Center, by the Milwaukee Health Department.According to the state data obtained by WISN 12 News, December through February, nearly 1.5 million vaccines were administered. Prosecutors said 500 vaccines were intentionally sabotaged by Grafton pharmacist Steven Brandenburg in December.Not including the sabotaged vaccines, state data reveals 1,827 vaccines were wasted. Compared to the number of vaccines administered, the number of vaccines wasted is 0.12%, or about one in every 786 vaccines. Saint Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan is among the top five distributors in the state with the most wasted vaccines. The hospital wasted 145 doses, of which 140 were wasted in a single night. “HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital learned that 28 vials of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine were unintentionally left out unrefrigerated on the night of Feb. 8, 2021. Upon immediate review of the situation, the hospital concluded that these vials were set aside while sorting vaccine; and as a result of human error, the 28 vials were inadvertently left out rather than placed back in the refrigerator as is standard protocol,” a spokesperson from Saint Nicholas Hospital said. “HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital firmly believes this situation was a result of human error and not intentional. The hospital has taken this incident very seriously and used it to improve processes and put additional measures in place to ensure it will not happen again.”The other two distributors with the most wasted vaccine are Aurora BayCare with 191 wasted vaccines and UW University Hospital with 138 wasted vaccines. Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee also wasted 102 vaccine doses. A spokesperson did not respond to questions specifically addressing why. “Since the isolated incident at Grafton in December and like many other providers who experienced early challenges extracting a sixth dose from Pfizer vials, we’ve significantly improved our efficiency. We’ve also implemented a program to review unused doses daily and ensure safeguards to minimize waste,” Aurora said in a statement. “If vaccinating entities are unable to use vaccine, they call us and we redistribute that allocation to a vaccinator with an immediate need. However, we and our vaccinators understand this is a very precious resource, and we want to ensure no dose is wasted,” a DHS spokesperson said. “We urge all vaccinators to have systems in place so that when people do not show for appointments, they have waiting lists of people to call so vaccine does not go to waste. Our vaccinators have done an excellent job doing this.” Mayo Clairmont Campus had 15 wasted vaccines and SSM Health Janesville East had five wasted doses. Vaccines can go to waste for a variety of reasons. Some can get too warm if left out too long. Others expire after a certain amount of time. Many vaccination sites will call a waitlist and sometimes let people waiting outside get a shot if there are leftover vaccines.DHS said there was also some confusion over how many doses were in the Pfizer vaccine vials that have since been clarified. Editor note: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services revised their numbers after the story first aired on WISN 12 News Friday night and was posted online. Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISNGet breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

More than 1,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were wasted across Wisconsin, according to the Department of Health Services.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in Wisconsin

WISN 12 News investigated state data that shows the number of wasted doses from the start of vaccinations in December through the end of February.

The records do not include the 34 vaccines that were wasted last week at the Wisconsin Center, by the Milwaukee Health Department.

According to the state data obtained by WISN 12 News, December through February, nearly 1.5 million vaccines were administered.

Prosecutors said 500 vaccines were intentionally sabotaged by Grafton pharmacist Steven Brandenburg in December.

Not including the sabotaged vaccines, state data reveals 1,827 vaccines were wasted.

Compared to the number of vaccines administered, the number of vaccines wasted is 0.12%, or about one in every 786 vaccines.

Saint Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan is among the top five distributors in the state with the most wasted vaccines. The hospital wasted 145 doses, of which 140 were wasted in a single night.

“HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital learned that 28 vials of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine were unintentionally left out unrefrigerated on the night of Feb. 8, 2021. Upon immediate review of the situation, the hospital concluded that these vials were set aside while sorting vaccine; and as a result of human error, the 28 vials were inadvertently left out rather than placed back in the refrigerator as is standard protocol,” a spokesperson from Saint Nicholas Hospital said. “HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital firmly believes this situation was a result of human error and not intentional. The hospital has taken this incident very seriously and used it to improve processes and put additional measures in place to ensure it will not happen again.”

The other two distributors with the most wasted vaccine are Aurora BayCare with 191 wasted vaccines and UW University Hospital with 138 wasted vaccines.

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee also wasted 102 vaccine doses. A spokesperson did not respond to questions specifically addressing why.

“Since the isolated incident at Grafton in December and like many other providers who experienced early challenges extracting a sixth dose from Pfizer vials, we’ve significantly improved our efficiency. We’ve also implemented a program to review unused doses daily and ensure safeguards to minimize waste,” Aurora said in a statement.

“If vaccinating entities are unable to use vaccine, they call us and we redistribute that allocation to a vaccinator with an immediate need. However, we and our vaccinators understand this is a very precious resource, and we want to ensure no dose is wasted,” a DHS spokesperson said. “We urge all vaccinators to have systems in place so that when people do not show for appointments, they have waiting lists of people to call so vaccine does not go to waste. Our vaccinators have done an excellent job doing this.”

Mayo Clairmont Campus had 15 wasted vaccines and SSM Health Janesville East had five wasted doses.

Vaccines can go to waste for a variety of reasons. Some can get too warm if left out too long. Others expire after a certain amount of time.

Many vaccination sites will call a waitlist and sometimes let people waiting outside get a shot if there are leftover vaccines.

DHS said there was also some confusion over how many doses were in the Pfizer vaccine vials that have since been clarified.

Editor note: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services revised their numbers after the story first aired on WISN 12 News Friday night and was posted online.

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