COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 82 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been discarded nationwide since the start of the pandemic.
The most recent data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows COVID spread has increased in the past week. St. Louis County is now in high transmission, the first county to enter this stage since the new data tracking system was introduced. Mid-Missouri remains in low transmission.
Over half of Missouri's population has received one or more doses of the COVID vaccine. As vaccination rates slow, more and more vaccines are disposed of. The information from the CDC shows that 11% -- or nearly 20 million -- of the vaccines distributed between December 2021 and May of this year were discarded.
According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Missouri ranks 42nd out of 52 in the national ranking of fully vaccinated populations.
In an emailed statement, Boone Health said it has given more than 50,000 doses of the COVID vaccine to individuals and has vaccines available at primary care locations.
"Boone Health follows FDA and CDC recommendations and discards vaccines when their safety has been compromised or they expire. While we do not release the specific numbers regarding our discarded inventory, the number of discarded doses is a small fraction of the amount of doses given out," the statement reads.
The CDC says it's necessary to create vaccine waste "when there is insufficient volume in the vial for use or when the vaccine dose is spoiled or expired." Vaccines may be disposed of when they're not at the proper temperature because they have a short shelf life.
There are local rules and regulations on how to dispose of medical waste. Missouri law requires infectious or medical waste to be disposed of in leak-proof containers that don't allow any needles or other sharp objects to puncture through.
Providers must report their vaccination waste through the federal Vaccine Tracking System.