Avoiding Missed Opportunities to Vaccinate vs. Wastage of COVID-19 Vaccines

Avoiding Missed Opportunities to Vaccinate vs. Wastage of COVID-19 Vaccines

Take every opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person:

  • Over a hundred million people are fully vaccinated in the Unites States and many more have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Our goal is to increase vaccine confidence and for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to have every opportunity to be fully vaccinated once they become eligible.
  • CDC and our partners are doing everything possible to minimize the amount of vaccine that goes unused.
  • Vaccine wastage may increase as the vaccine rollout continues because:
    • More providers, including smaller provider sites, are now receiving vaccines.
    • Consider establishing and promoting standing vaccination days or half-days to increase likelihood of larger numbers of people presenting for vaccination on the same day.
    • Vaccinate family members or friends who accompany patients to medical visits even if they are not established patients at the vaccinating practice.
  • To ensure providers do not miss an opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person, CDC recommends:
    • Providers follow clinical best practice for vaccination as well as best practices when managing inventory to maximize vaccination and minimize dose wastage.
    • Providers should not miss any opportunities to vaccinate every eligible person who presents at a vaccination site, even if it means puncturing a multi-dose vial to administer vaccine without having enough people available to receive each dose.
    • Consider establishing and promoting standing vaccination days or half-days to increase likelihood of larger numbers of people presenting for vaccination on the same day.
    • Vaccinate family members or friends who accompany patients to medical visits even if they are not established patients at the vaccinating practice.
    • Continue outreach to employers or other community partners that have a large membership or network to arrange vaccination events.
    • Vaccine providers should attempt to contact additional persons (i.e., from a wait list or through personal contacts of persons being vaccinated) to use as many vaccine doses as possible.

While we want to continue to follow best practices to use every dose possible, we do not want that to be at the expense of missing an opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person.