LUBBOCK, Texas — Not a single COVID-19 vaccine shot has gone to waste for not having someone ready to roll up a sleeve, according to the Lubbock Health Department. Volunteers have worked around the clock for months to vaccinate every eligible person they can. Once out of the refrigerator, the vaccines can only last for six hours.
As of Friday, the department had given 41,213 people their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 22,406 people their second dose. Out of these now tens of thousands of shots, the health department said workers have only had to throw away three but strictly due to breakages.
“We’ve never had to throw away vaccine because we didn’t have people to give it to … We’ve only lost about three vaccines, and those were times when it fell on the ground or the needle broke,” Katherine Wells, Director of Public Health for the City of Lubbock, said.
Wells added that after clinics sometimes there are extra vaccine shots after people were no shows for their appointments, but it’s usually just a handful. She said the department works hard to keep the number of extra shots under 10.
In the event of extra doses after the clinic, the department first looks to use them on available people who meet the requirements among clinic workers and walk-ins.
The rest can then go to the people who do not meet the Phase 1A or 1B requirements who have been waiting at the center for the chance of extras. Those are then given in order of age.
However, the health department does not recommend those who are not eligible waiting at the center for a vaccine because the chance of receiving one is low. There is no online vaccine waitlist for those not yet eligible as a part of Phase 1A and 1B.
“Sometimes there are people that show up at the end of clinic looking. Sometimes they luck out. Other times not so much,” Wells said.