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Monitoring COVID-19 vaccine’s shelf life

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:37 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:38 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Less than 50% of our state’s population is vaccinated, but there are plenty of vaccines and boosters available.

“We have over 2.8 million Alabamians that are fully vaccinated,” says Dr. Karen Landers, with the Alabama Department of Public Health. “But again, keep in mind we have some very low percentages.

Dr. Landers shares the breakdown on vaccination rates amongst different age groups.

“The 5-11 age group is probably about 12% or so. The 17 age group is in the 30+ percent, I believe it is about 36%,” says Dr. Landers. “Our vaccination rate is higher depending on the age group you are looking at.”

Dr. Karen Landers said last year we were asking for vaccines to fight against COVID, and now we have them and in some cases, they aren’t being taken advantage of and could potentially go to waste.

“Keep in mind there is still a cost to these products,” Landers shares. “We really want to utilize to keep people out of hospitals and keep people from dying.”

Dr. Landers shares the shelf life for vaccines can vary. Wayne Rowe, the CEO of Quality of Life Health Services says they usually following the manufacturers guidance for each shot.

“Pfizer shelf life is 10 weeks and Moderna and Johnson and Johnson we follow the guidelines of the manufacturer,” says Rowe.

Dr. Landers says these vaccines are costly to create. When they aren’t used, the products and the money used to make them go to waste.

“Unfortunately, if the products aren’t utilized after the products reach the shelf life and the manufacturer of the product has indicated that that is the shelf then those products do have to be disposed of,” says Dr. Landers.

Dr. Landers says vaccines are an important preventative activity we all need to take advantage of in the fight against COVID.

Quality of Life Health Services has 24 locations throughout East Alabama all of which are currently offering free COVID tests and vaccines. To schedule an appointment, call 256-439-6404.

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