PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At one point during the coronavirus pandemic, it was a challenge to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Now with a surge in supply, there is a new challenge: wasted vaccine doses.
Once a vaccine vile has been opened, those doses inside have a short span where they can be used so this was a major effort to try and prevent waste, but it seems the crowds just weren’t as eager.READ MORE: Philadelphia Chef Eli Kulp Finds New Mission After Being Paralyzed In Amtrak Crash, Battle With Depression
“I literally just saw this in my Facebook feed,” a Philadelphia named Dennis said.
Dennis decided to get his Pfizer dose after seeing an urgent post on social media.
Around 1,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses were left over after a weekend event held by the city, the expiration clock was now ticking.
Centennial Pharmacy co-owner Dr. Joseph Dymowski got the call to help on Monday afternoon.
“Around 12 o’clock, asked us if we could get rid of it, if we had any possibility of getting rid of the dosing and we said bring it over we will try,” Dymowski said.
Centennial Pharmacy on Delaware Avenue received the doses around 2 p.m. Monday and had less than 24 hours to administer them to walk-up patients.READ MORE: Philadelphia Shooting Homicides Up 40% From 2020 After 7 Killed In Violent Mother's Day Weekend
“It expires around 1-1:30, so we are hoping to get a lot more by that time so that we cannot have to throw that away,” Centennial Pharmacy co-owner Cindi Dymowski said.
1 p.m. came and went, though, and out of the 1,000 available doses, 540 had to be tossed out.
“We had a steady line of people all day,” Joseph Dymowski said. “We just didn’t have that big push, so that’s where we feel the enthusiasm of the vaccine has started to dwindle.”
According to city health officials, most people who were very eager to get vaccinated likely already have been by now.
City data shows that more than 493,000 people are now fully vaccinated with almost 248,000 having had received at least one shot.
Officials are now concentrating on offering more vaccination locations, to make it easy for everyone else to achieve the complete two doses of COVID-19 protection.
Once those 540 vaccines were tossed, Centennial Pharmacy simply continued serving walk-up patients with their Pfizer vaccines, and will continue to do so. They have walk-up appointments available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday every week.MORE NEWS: United States FDA Authorizes Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine For Use In Children Ages 12-15
Officials say that anyone who has not been vaccinated, or who needs their second dose, should also consider heading to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. According to officials, there are 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine set to expire on Thursday.