Unused doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine — potentially numbering in the millions — could go to waste nationwide, as state officials deal with both an overall waning demand for vaccines and wariness of the J&J version that was briefly taken out of circulation for safety reasons.

The Food and Drug Administration temporarily paused the distribution of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine after concerns of a connection to a rare blood clotting condition, but even after the FDA rescinded the order 11 days later, hesitancy to get the J&J vaccine remained, NBC News reported.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 21.4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been distributed, though just over half of those — 11.1 million — have been administered, NBC reported.

Much of those unused doses could go to waste if no national redistribution plan is implemented, says medical officials, who warned such a situation could be bad ethically and optically as the developing world clamors for vaccines.

White House COVID-19 Response Team lead adviser Andy Slavitt said Tuesday that while “a very small fraction of the doses that have been sent out to states” is at risk of expiring, it’s unrealistic to expect that every vaccine dose will eventually be used, NBC reported.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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