Georgians’ vaccine hesitancy causing more and more doses to be wasted

ATLANTA — As more and more Georgians decide not to get the vaccine, more and more doses are being wasted.

William Cavender is one of 56% of Georgians who have not yet received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yet.

“I’m not gonna put it in my body. I’m not gonna put it into my family’s body until the research is done on it and done properly,” Cavendar told Channel 2′s Matt Johnson.

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The Georgia Department of Public Health says that 91,604 doses have been wasted this year because they were not needed after being prepared.

Providers are doing their best to make sure every drop is saved, despite lack of demand.

“We try as best as possible, try to use everything that’s in the vial. We try not to waste any vaccine, if it’s if at all possible,” said Dr. Karl Simon, owner of Suwanee Pharmacy.

Dr. Simon says that vaccinations at his pharmacy are down to about 10 to 20 per day.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines must be used with 12 and six hours, respectively, after opening the vials in order to avoid contamination.

“The concern comes with more the Moderna vaccine that you have 10 vaccines per vial. Sometimes it’s hard to get 10 people at this stage wanting a Moderna vaccine,” Dr. Simon said.


The number of wasted doses, however, makes up for less than 1% of the state’s total 11.3 million doses given.

To combat this issue, some providers are ordering fewer doses.

Dr. Johnathan Marquess owns ten independent pharmacies across the metro Atlanta area. He says his job as a pharmacist includes not giving up on the vaccine skeptics.

“We want to be an educator, we want to dispel any myths that are out there, but also educate them of how safe and effective these vaccines are,” he said.

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Cavender says he has been through COVID-19 once and is in no rush to get a shot before it goes to waste.

“I’m not worried about a second round. If you want a vaccine, you get the vaccine, leave me alone about it,” he said.