15 Million COVID Vaccine Doses Discarded in the Past Six Months

Image credit: via

Image credit: via

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have been administered in the United States since vaccinations began late last year.

About people — of the total U.S. population — are fully vaccinated.

Approximately — have received at least one dose.

But while vaccines dosages have slightly increased, not enough people have received the vaccine in time to prevent the from mutating and becoming the dominant COVID strain.

This has led to many school districts, businesses, and government offices to re-impose mask mandates.

Some businesses are finally requiring to enter.

A few places, like and , are now mandating teachers be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing.

Resistance remains strong, particularly among registered republicans.

While we here in America bicker back and forth about “personal freedoms” and fallacious , new data from the CDC reports pharmacies and state governments have at least since March 1.

That’s at least.

It’s likely an .

The state that discarded the most, doses: Texas — one of seven (republican-led) states that in schools and .

And what isn’t being thrown out might be simply .

Pharmacies and other vaccine providers reported to the CDC that the at least 4.4 million wasted doses in June and 4.7 million in July totaled .

Meanwhile poorer nations can’t get enough vaccines.

Indian television journalist and author, Barkha Dutt, commented in an interview with :

“When we watch what’s happening in the U.S….it is astounding that people who have access to vaccines are choosing not to get jabbed. It’s anti-science. It’s self-indulgent. It’s a very first-world white privilege.”

Associate professor of global health law at University of Warwick in England, Sharifah Sekalala, an expert in infectious disease inequalities, :

“It’s really tragic that we have a situation where vaccines are being wasted while lots of African countries have not had even 5 percent of their populations vaccinated. A lot of the global south is unvaccinated. The African continent is still below 10 percent, and that’s just a huge inequality and it’s really problematic.”

Not all discarded doses are tossed out due to expiration or lack of demand.

While are also contributing factors, they don’t obviate the fact that just a little over half the richest country in the history of the world is vaccinated for COVID nearly a year after the vaccine was approved for emergency use and has now received .

That to some people.

Demand would address the most prevalent reason for vaccine disposal — the race against the clock once .

There appears to be a slight improvement, though.

A slight improvement.

Although the U.S. wasted at least 3.8 million doses just last month, demand also .

“The number of doses that went to waste is a small fraction of the that were distributed in the country as of Tuesday [Aug 31] and the the U.S. had given to other countries as of Aug. 3.”

While it looks as though COVID-19 in now endemic and we will just have to start accepting its presence in our lives for the foreseeable future, getting vaccinated is , even if the vaccine isn’t 100-percent effective against them.


“Remember, even when you have variants that do diminish somewhat the efficacy of vaccines, the vaccines still are quite effective against variants of that time.”

Which brings us to , the “variant of interest” currently concerning the .

As Salon recently :

“Variants of concern are regarded as a top priority because they are more immunity-resistant, contagious or deadly than other strains. Currently the WHO considers four strains to meet those criteria: alpha, beta, gamma and delta (the variant most prevalent in the United States).”

Could the mu variant be the next dominant strain?

Could it eventually lead to one that could render the current vaccine impotent?

Originally published at on September 8, 2021.




Ted Millar is a teacher, poet, and political writer for Liberal America and the Left Place blog on Substack: https://theleftplace.substack.com/.

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Ted Millar

Ted Millar

Ted Millar is a teacher, poet, and political writer for Liberal America and the Left Place blog on Substack: .

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