Hundreds of thousands of expired COVID-19 vaccine doses thrown out in Georgia this year

ATLANTA — A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses had to be thrown away here in Georgia because they expired.

Channel 2 Investigative reporter Justin Gray requested the data from the state Department of Health.

DPH says that 682,999 does of the COVID-19 vaccine have expired here in Georgia since mid-December.

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To put that in perspective, that is enough doses to put a shot in the arm of every resident of the cities of Atlanta and Savannah combined.

Georgia State University public health professor Harry Heiman is also a family doctor. Heiman says this illustrates Georgia’s problems vaccinating residents.

“Obviously it makes me very concerned. It really speaks to me as lots of missed opportunities,” Heiman said.

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Georgia continues to rank near the bottom nationwide in vaccination rate.

But this weekend, state officials say they saw positive signs.

More than 1,000 people lined up in DeKalb County on Saturday as $100 gift cards and basketball icons Dikembe Mutombo and Dominique Wilkins helped attract a crowd.

Georgia Director of Public Health Dr. Kathleen Toomey says mobile units at popular locations that do not require appointments are also helping.

“Having the opportunity to be vaccinated at the time you are doing other activities, like grocery shopping, farmers market, is when people will make that decision ultimately,” Toomey said.

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Even more doses of the vaccine are projected to expire soon here in Georgia.

The state estimates an additional 978,057 doses could expire by the end of November.

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