Local health authorities go to great lengths to avoid wasting COVID-19 vaccines

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 4:52 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Health authorities are working diligently to keep COVID-19 vaccines from going to waste after reports of vaccines going unused led some to question how vaccine doses allocated in Central Texas are managed.

Authorities in Bell and McLennan counties took notice when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month announced 15 million doses have been wasted throughout the United States.

“We never use the term extra,” said Peter Perez, Killeen’s emergency manager coordinator.

A commonality is anticipating the number of people who will show up to a clinic of any kind. “If you don’t open the vial, then it’s not even a vaccine yet,” Perez said.

Regardless of the type of vaccine, there is always a waiting game.

“It’s very essential that we don’t draw out the vaccine until we need it, until we have somebody on-hand that can get that vaccine,” said Kelly Crane, a public information officer for the Waco-McLennan County Health District. '

#COVIDupdate The City of Killeen will offer free COVID-19 vaccines and tests at a drive-thru COVID-19 site again this...

Posted by City of Killeen, Texas - Government on Tuesday, September 21, 2021

In Killeen, the number of people showing up to get vaccine doses has diminished and that sometimes complicates how vials are managed.

“They don’t mix it all,” Perez said. “They only might mix one. Because, then the rest of it, they would take back and put it back into storage.”

This week, the City of Killeen will host a drive-through clinic from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Killeen Special Events Center off the 3300 block of S. W.S. Young Drive.

In McLennan County, mobile clinics are scheduled all week, and shots are also available in the public health district’s facility off West Waco Drive.

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