During the pandemic, many people had trouble accessing vaccines to protect against the virus that causes COVID-19. Here at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI), we successfully established a vaccination program in January 2021 for local Hispanic/Latino adults with or at risk of diabetes. At that time, there were more people requesting the vaccine than available vaccine supply. Now the situation is very different.
Vaccines expiring before they are used
Millions of vaccines are in danger of being thrown out. In America, vaccinations peaked at more than 3.4 million a day in April 2021, but fell to under one million a day at the beginning of June 2021. This improved recently as states created vaccine incentives, including cash giveaways. Unfortunately, this is not enough to reach the target of at least partially vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults by July 4, 2021. Instead, states are having to throw out millions of doses that will expire before people can be persuaded to take them.
Vaccine giveaway is real
On June 10, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended the Johnson and Johnson vaccine’s approved shelf life by six weeks. This saved millions of doses that were about to expire. However, many people hesitate to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because of the previous pause. This means that millions more doses of this vaccine are likely to expire. The delta COVID-19 variant is spreading in the U.S. It now accounts for 18% of new cases in some western states. To protect against this variant, it is important for as many people as possible to be fully vaccinated.
There is a pressing need to overcome misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Research shows that the vaccines against COVID-19 work.