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DIGGING DEEPER: How many vaccines Illinois has thrown out and why

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Not every vaccine delivered to Illinois will end up in someone's arm. Some of them will be lost to what's called vaccine wastage. So far, 526 doses have ended up in the trash.

The state, however, says that's an incredibly low number given that its administered more than 2 million doses.

"Usually, in vaccination programs you would account for about 5% of spoilage for various reasons," said Jordan Abudayyeh with the governor's office.

Abudayyeh said vaccines are throw out for a number of reasons, including because the needles are dropped or damaged before the vaccine can go into someone's arm, or a healthcare professional can't get the full sixth dose out of the Pfizer vial.

But some vaccines are also lost because they are left out too long and can no longer be administered. We asked Abudayyeh of the 526 doses lost, how many were because they weren't given quickly enough. We did not get an answer back.

Illinois is doing better than some states when it comes to vaccine wastage. Michigan has thrown out nearly 1,200 doses of the vaccine out of more than 2.6 million it's given. That gives it a rate of .045% compared to Illinois' .02%.

Indiana, however, has a better rate than Illinois. The state says it's lost 172 vaccines out of more than 1.3 million administered. That gives it a wastage rate of .013%. Still Illinois says the Land of Lincoln is ahead of the pack.

"Illinois has less spoilage than other states that are already over 1,000-plus," said Abudayyeh.

We have also asked the state for information on which areas in Illinois are seeing the most vaccines thrown out. So far the state has not responded to that question.

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor
Kristin Crowley anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news. She is also a reporter for 13 Investigates. She brings more than a decade of experience to the newsroom. Her work at WREX has earned her multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for Investigative Journalism and three regional Emmys.

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