Participants get coronavirus vaccinations at a clinic at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary in Glenarden, Maryland, on Nov. 8, the first day of the clinics for children ages 5 to 11 in Prince George’s County. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Participants get coronavirus vaccinations at a clinic at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary in Glenarden, Maryland, on Nov. 8, the first day of the clinics for children ages 5 to 11 in Prince George’s County. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

More than 200,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have gone to waste in Maryland throughout the pandemic thus far, according to the state health department.

The department said that as of Friday, 201,562 doses have been wasted since the vaccines became available late last year, though that is a fraction of the nearly 9 million doses administered throughout the state overall as a first or second dose or booster, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The department didn’t specify the areas or jurisdictions with the most wasted doses or the reasons for why they went unused, but common causes cited for discarded vaccines include damaged packaging, mistakes in preparation or a lack of demand, The Sun reported.

The vaccines can expire quickly and have specific temperature requirements for storage, particularly the two mRNA versions manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

As of Monday, more than 4 million Maryland residents have been fully vaccinated, with roughly 88% of the adult population now having at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the health department.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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