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CVS and Walgreens have wasted more vaccine doses than most states combined

Two national pharmacy chains that the federal government entrusted to inoculate people against COVID-19 account for the lion’s share of wasted vaccine doses, according to government data obtained by KHN.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of late March, three months into the country’s effort to vaccinate the masses against the coronavirus. Of those, CVS was responsible for nearly half, and Walgreens for 21%,or nearly 128,500 wasted shots combined.

CDC data suggests that the companies have wasted more doses than states, U.S. territories and federal agencies combined. Pfizer’s vaccine, which in December was the first to be deployed and initially required storage at ultracold temperatures, represented nearly 60% of tossed doses.

It’s not completely clear from the CDC data why the two chains wasted so much more vaccine than states and federal agencies.Some critics have pointed to poor planning early in the rollout, when the Trump administration leaned heavily on CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate residents and staff members of long-term care facilities. In response to questions, CVS said “nearly all” of its reported vaccine waste occurred during that effort. Walgreens did not specify how many wasted doses were from the long-term care program.

One thing is clear: Months into the nation’s vaccination drive, the CDC has a limited view of how much vaccine is going to waste, where it’s wasted and who is wasting it, potentially complicating efforts to direct doses to where they are needed most. Public health experts say having a good handle on waste is crucial for detecting problems that could derail progress and risk lives.


—Kaiser Health News

Ghislaine Maxwell trial is pushed back to fall from July

NEW YORK — British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell won a delay in her sex-trafficking trial until the fall, as the judge agreed to move it from July 12.

Maxwell, 59, is being held in a federal lockup in Brooklyn on charges stemming from her time with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. She asked for the delay, over prosecutors’ objections, arguing that she and her legal team needed more time to prepareafter the U.S. filed a revised indictment in late March.


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