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Even with Gov. Jim Justice new incentives, covid vaccines still going unused as expiration dates loom

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia is roughly five percentage points away from Governor Jim Justice’s 65% vaccination goal, but even with the new incentives, many doses still continue to sit on shelves.

Tens of millions of covid vaccine doses are going unused throughout the U.S. as vaccine rates have lessened over time.

Here in North Central West Virginia, it’s no different. Lloyd White, the health department director of Marion County says they still have plenty shots to give.

“We have 1000 to 1500 doses probably that have yet to be administered,” White said.

That number may seem small, but when you add that to the rest of the unused doses in the state, that equals almost 268,000 doses not being touched.

“All vaccines have a shelf-life. Currently we have some that are set to expire, I think by the end of June,” White said.

Although Johnson & Johnson announced that they are extending their expiration date by six weeks, it may bring some relief, but it all may not get used in time.

White says right now there are no answers as to what will happen to the doses that aren’t utilized.

“We have not received any directives from the state as to what we will be doing with expired vaccines.”

As they continue to encourage residents to get vaccinated through their clinics, and even mobile unit that is meant to come to you, the hope is for more people to roll up their sleeves.

“Get the vaccine while it’s available. No one knows what the future holds, so get it now while you can,” White said.

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