GOP Reps. Budd, Garcia: Stop Throwing Away Unused CCP Virus Vaccines

GOP Reps. Budd, Garcia: Stop Throwing Away Unused CCP Virus Vaccines
An employee shows the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in New York City on Dec. 21, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
Mark Tapscott
House Republicans Ted Budd of North Carolina and Mike Garcia of California want federal health officials to issue new guidance to stop thousands of unused CCP virus vaccines from being tossed into the garbage in New York, Washington state, and elsewhere.
“In New York, unused vaccines sat in freezers and some were even thrown away because vaccine providers feared Governor Cuomo’s mandate on which priority groups should be vaccinated first,” Budd and Garcia told Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield in a letter on Jan. 19.
The CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, entered the United States from China early in 2020, and has since resulted in the deaths of more than 400,000 Americans, the vast majority of whom were elderly and suffered one or more co-morbidities such as cancer or flu.

“And in the state of Washington, an employee at a multicare facility explained how some unused vaccines were thrown away at the end of shifts because the strict state guidelines made it difficult to vaccinate others outside the designated priority group,” the congressmen told Redfield.

“These examples are just two of many taking place across our country,” Budd and Garcia continued. “With hundreds of millions of Americans yet to be vaccinated, it’s unthinkable that unused doses are going to waste.”

The two congressmen encouraged Redfield to issue prompt new guidance on the proper disposal of the vaccines and to ensure that as many Americans are vaccinated as quickly as possible, without having to overcome unnecessary and inefficient bureaucratic obstacles.

“Reopening America should be the top priority of our government. In order to do that, we must encourage state and local officials to cut red tape and ensure that unused vaccine doses are not going to waste. We urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that more Americans are able to be vaccinated as quickly as possible.” Budd and Garcia said.

A CDC spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

The problem that prompted the letter to Redfield originated in the requirement that the vaccine doses produced by Pfizer must be kept in extremely-low-temperature refrigeration units.

State officials in New York and Washington state have issued inflexible priority groupings of individuals and the order in which they are to receive the vaccines.

When not enough members of each group arrive at their appointed times and places to receive vaccinations, the unused doses can't be administered to other individuals and reportedly are thrown out at the end of the day.

Budd and Garcia pointed out to Redfield in their letter that former Health and Human Resources Secretary Alex Azar decried such disposal practices, saying, “There is no reason that states need to complete, say, vaccinating all health care providers before opening up vaccinations to older Americans or other especially vulnerable populations’ and that states should not ‘leave vaccines sitting in freezers.’”

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told NBC News recently that “this kind of thing is pretty rampant. I have personally heard stories like this from dozens of physician friends in a variety of different states. Hundreds, if not thousands, of doses are getting tossed across the country every day. It’s unbelievable.”

The vaccines are being produced by Pfizer and Moderna, with a third vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson that's based on a different approach to preventing the CCP virus expected to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the near future.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of 1 million Americans being vaccinated daily, and he hopes to see 100 new vaccination centers being opened around the country as soon as possible.

But to reach what medical experts consider to be herd immunity, the United States must vaccinate at least 1.8 million individuals daily between now and the end of July.

Contact Mark Tapscott at [email protected]
Mark Tapscott is an award-winning investigative editor and reporter who covers Congress, national politics, and policy for The Epoch Times. Mark was admitted to the National Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Hall of Fame in 2006 and he was named Journalist of the Year by CPAC in 2008. He was a consulting editor on the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Other Than Honorable” in 2014.