The CDC reported 11.3 million wasted COVID-19 vaccine doses in 8 months

Total number of wasted doses by week, which has been steadily growing since April.

How vaccines get wasted

The mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J must be kept at a specific low temperature during transport and storage, so any refrigeration problems can cause a mass wastage of doses. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccine must be administered within 6 hours of removal from temperature control, while the J&J vaccine must be used within 12 hours. Some vaccines come in vials of five doses each, while others come in vials of ten, leading to waste when a full vial cannot be used in time.

Wastage grouped by vaccine manufacturer. 56% of wasted doses were of the Moderna vaccine, 32% were Pfizer, and 12% were from J&J.

Where vaccines get wasted

More than half of all waste occurs at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, and major retail pharmacies.

Waste by vaccine provider. Large retail pharmacies account for around two-thirds of all reported vaccine waste — state vaccination programs, hospitals, clinics, and smaller providers account for the remaining third.
I am currently exploring the data with the Wolfram Language, which is how I found that the “submitted” date is not exactly correlated with the actual day a dose was wasted.

FOIA request

Data on vaccine waste was not publicly disseminated anywhere, so I filed a FOIA request with the CDC for any relevant information.

I did not qualify for a fee waiver since my website seemingly wasn’t enough to demonstrate that I disseminate information to the public.
aws s3 cp s3://adatascientist/cdc/ .

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