It is unimaginable that we throw away 10% of coronavirus vaccines daily.

The expression, shooting oneself in the foot, evolved from World War I. Today, the phrase’s meaning means to do something without intention that spoils a situation for yourself.

How long have vaccine manufacturers known they would have to distribute two doses to each person? How long have these same companies known the dosage amount per vial of the vaccine? A story today says we are throwing away thousands of doses of COVID-19 that could be used.

Trashing Vaccines Pharmacists pool seasonal influenza vaccines, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and more to use the ‘last drop’ of medicine rather than throw away the remaining liquid in a vial.

Moderna’s vaccine uses 0.5 ml/dose with ten doses per vial ( Pfizer’s vaccine is 0.3 ml/dose per individual with six doses per vial. (

Yet, there is a residual amount of vaccine in vials at the end of the vaccination day. With other drugs, the residual amounts are preserved and combined to reduce spoilage or waste. The FDA prohibits distributors of the vaccine from pooling leftover amounts of the vaccine in each vial.

Why? Because there are no preservatives in either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. A preservative would prevent bacterial growth when contaminated with germs from using the same needle more than once.

I have gotten my fair share of injections over the years, and I cannot imagine any medical professional reusing a needle again for me or on another person. If this is the case, how would a needle contaminate the dregs of a vaccine in the bottom of a vial?

Hospital systems in the Washington D. C. area record significant amounts of leftover vaccine in nearly every vial. The partially filled, sometimes almost full, vials are being trashed (appropriately). The estimate is at least ten percent of vaccines are thrown away.

Why does pooling work for other vaccines and medications that probably do not have preservatives and not for the coronavirus vaccines? My first thought is to follow the money. When someone pays for vials of vaccines, the more vials manufactured, the more money is made. Is this true? I do not know, but it is not outside the realm of reasonableness.

The distribution plan for these coronavirus vaccines was known months ago. This vaccine is no different than others used to inoculate large populations of people in a short time. Why was a contingency plan developed to handle the remnants of vaccine remaining in each vial?

There are stringent requirements for handling and using the vaccine vials. Why could similar requirements have been developed to collect, store, and return the used vaccine vials to the manufacturers for evaluation and repackaging?

When vaccines are deemed still viable, and the shelf-life has not been exceeded, and storage facilities meet the requirements, why is there a problem with contamination? This does not sound like rocket science. Keep batches by lot numbers to track any severe side effects that develop. Or have the manufacturers add a preservative to each vial or batch.


I fully support infection control. However, the current policy seems to allow us to continue to shoot ourselves in the foot every day. There is an Emergency Use Authorization for the current COVID-19 vaccines. Why not issue an Emergency Use Authorization for pooling residual vaccine material by the same batch number rather than sending them to the trash heap?

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



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