Despite 23,000 unused COVID-19 vaccine doses, UDOH says Utah needs more

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – As of Tuesday, Utah is getting more doses of COVID-19 vaccines due to a new deal with Walgreens and CVS.

The state says 28,275 doses scheduled to be delivered to Walgreens and CVS are instead going to the state, who the governor wants to be able to oversee distribution.

“They are all getting vaccinated in the same way with the pharmacy partners,” Katie Mansell with the Utah Assisted Living Association says.

The state wants to ensure no vaccine goes to waste.

“When the federal pharmacy partners come to the clinic they’ve been given an estimate on how many vaccines are needed can change on that day,” Mansell says.

According to ABC News, the federal government calculated the number of doses given based on 100% occupancy. CVS says it is oftentimes inaccurate, with the occupancy rate much lower than calculated.

Mansell says statewide, about 70% of assisted living facilities are full.

“When the pharmacy partners come into these facilities, you want to make sure everyone on that site has the opportunity to receive a vaccine,” Mansell explains.

As of January 24, the state is reporting about 23,000 unused doses from Walgreens and CVS. With just over 28,000 more doses on the way, will long term care facilities struggle to administer them?

“That will be an interesting problem to have to have too much vaccine for the amount of people who want it right now. We are struggling to keep up with those who want it,” Charla Haley with the Utah Department of Health said.

The state plans to have control of all doses by next week.

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