Coronavirus Updates

Health officials: Unused Johnson & Johnson vaccines soon to expire

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — According to the CDC, West Virginia has administered fewer than a third of its Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

Now with the fear of the expiration date looming overhead, many wonder what is going to happen to the vaccine. Especially with vaccine hesitancy, so dominant within our state.

“Seeing how they’re struggling just not here in America, but you know worldwide and we have it and are not using it,” said Mildred Thompkins, Driver for PACC.

Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine has a shelf life of six months when stored at their proper temperatures. Although, the Johnson and Johnson company released that their vaccine can be stored for up to three months at refrigerated temperatures.

Health workers claim they have experienced a shorter shelf life for the Johnson and Johnson doses and that some doses are expiring faster than others.

West Virginia health workers say they are trying to use the vaccines as quickly as possible before their expiration date.

“We are trying to get it out to people by taking it to events like Riverfest next week, using it in our clinic Monday through Friday, and at our HIV testing outreach events in the community,” said Dr. Sherri Young, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department director.

“We’ve had to throw out quite a bit, but that’s everybody. The health department and everyone else who’s doing it” said Mildred Thompkins, Driver for PACC.

“We never want to throw away anything, but we can’t use it once it’s expired, of course,” said Susan Cunninghan, Community Health worker.

For now, West Virginia vaccines are being administered through community events and vaccination clinics. The food and drug administration has approved a longer shelf life for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine by an additional six weeks.

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