FOX 35 INVESTIGATES: Thousands of wasted vaccines reported in Florida

More than 3,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses have gone to waste in Florida, according to officials.

The state said that includes vials that were broken and vials that were thawed but could not be used in the timeframe before they expired. The Pfizer vaccine is only good for six hours, while Moderna is good for eight hours.

Dr. Bruce Rankin who ran COVID-19 vaccine trials explained that the problem arises when there aren’t enough patients to use up every dose in a multi-dose vial.

"When you have to have six arms, once you thaw it out, then it’s important to have those people lined up," said Dr. Bruce Rankin, Medical Director, Accel Clinical Research Deland.

MORE NEWS: Democrats urge Biden to cancel up to $50k in student loan debt by executive action

Here are the local numbers:

Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, and Flager counties all report zero wasted doses. Osceola and Sumter counties had not responded by the time this article was published. Marion County reports 10 to 20 doses have been lost while Brevard County confirms 308 doses have spoiled.

Marion County officials said some vials did not pass visual inspection, while others fell on the ground. Brevard County officials said some were broken, while others were unable to be administered.

"I don’t like to hear about the waste, obviously it’s important to get all the dose used as much as possible, so i think making appointments, know how many people are coming in but unfortunately, I think this is going to continue to happen because of the short half-life on the storage," said Dr. Rankin.

The state has launched an audit of wasted vaccines.


Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.