VAX: Some of the unused vaccine inventory has been found!

We hate to say that we told you so, but…

A couple of weeks ago, we pointed out that there were about 25 million “unused” doses of vaccine … and, they were probably being held in inventory by CVS & Walgreens (leftover from the program to vaccinate nursing homes) and hospitals (a “reserve” for 2nd shots and slow adopting medical staffs).

Our advice: claw back that excess inventory and redeploy it to high velocity vaccinators.

For background and details, see VAX Dx: Where the hell is the vaccine inventory?

Well, it took for “the science” and “the data” awhile to catch up, but according to the weekend Washington Post:

The federal government allocated too much vaccine to CVS & Walgreens to vaccinate patients and staff at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

The doses — which were counted as part of each state’s allotment – over-counted the number of residents to be vaccinated, over-estimated the percentage of staff that would want the vaccine and didn’t realize that a 6th dose could be squeezed out of many vials.

Finally, many states are starting to “repurpose” and redistribute hundreds of thousands of the unused doses to others outlets,

States can defer or cancel subsequent allocations to long-term-care facilities, transfer doses to the states’ general pool for reallocation to other vaccinators or  leave excess vaccine doses with CVS and Walgreens who will soon begin vaccinating the general public in some states.

The CDC didn’t provide an estimate of how much excess CVS & Walgreens were holding.

My hunch: at least couple of million doses… a statistically significant amount at current supply rates … at least a couple of days worth of production … maybe more.

Ok, they’re finally onto one pocket of unused available supply.

Going forward, here’s what to keep your eye on:


Our morning “VAX stats” post includes a chart showing the U.S. Vaccine Stockpile — the difference between “doses distributed” by the Feds and the “doses administered” by the states and locales.

The number has been hovering around 20 million doses.

Now that the majority of doses are being used as 2nd shots to the folks who got first shots in January, this “reserve” should be deployed and the above curve should quickly start to turn down — steeply as the 2nd dose reserves are being released.

If it doesn’t, you can bet that we’ll be on the case.


P.S. West Virginia was the only state that didn’t participate in the Federal government’s partnership with CVS & Walgreens.  Rather, WV used a network of local WV pharmacies to service nursing homes and long-term-care facilities.  As a result, WV completed vaccinating those high priority facilities about a month before other states … and, the state has had a high vaccine utilization rate since doses were never stuck the CVS – Walgreen’s inventory.

2 Responses to “VAX: Some of the unused vaccine inventory has been found!”

  1. VAX: CDC updates guidance re: 2nd shots… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] For details, see: Some of the unused vaccine inventory has been found! […]

  2. VAX: So, why is West Virginia kicking other states butts? | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See Where the hell is the vaccine inventory? and Some of the unused vaccine inventory has been found! […]

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