Vaccination rates in Arizona decline, causing wasted doses

The number of people wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona is rapidly declining, and according to one pediatric clinic, all of those unused doses are going in the trash.

"There’s still some hesitancy out there because it is newly approved," said Darragh Taylor, manager for Pleasant Pediatrics. "Maybe some parents are waiting for kids to get out of school."

When kids 12 years and up were cleared to be vaccinated, Taylor says they were giving out around 100 first doses at each of their six locations. Now - only 10 to 15 per day.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

"For Pfizer specifically, once we puncture the vial, we can get about 6 to 7 doses out of the vial," Taylor explained. "Once it is open, those doses have to be used within six hours, so unfortunately, if we don’t have enough patients to give those to, they have to be wasted. So we just keep track of that and communicate with the state and let them know what that wastage is."

Taylor says the clinic offers Moderna to those who are qualified because it has a longer shelf life, hopefully leading to less waste.

"Those are okay 12 hours after the vial is punctured, and we usually get 10-12 doses out of a vial from that," Taylor said.

The clinic also opened up their vaccinations to the general public because of its large supply - something Arizona resident Angel is happy to take advantage of.

"It was easy for me," said Angel. "Very convenient. A few freeways and I’m here. I get off and I’m right here."

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