If you’re going to be trusted to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, it’d be nice if you … actually administered COVID vaccinations. You definitely shouldn’t let thousands of vaccines expire without being used.
Wild thought, right? Well, it’s apparently worth mentioning again because that’s exactly what Shelby County — which includes the city of Memphis — let happen.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the state health department was launching an investigation into Shelby County, which may have dropped the ball. The city will now have vaccine doses rerouted away from the local health department, too, according to an article on Commercial Appeal.
That’s what happens when you have a stockpile of over 50,000 unused doses, a number which should be closer to 20,000.
“The people of Shelby County deserve efficient and effective vaccinations,” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said in a news conference Tuesday. “It is our largest population center. It is also one of our centers of color, as far as disadvantaged and minority communities, but the people deserve to have good access to vaccines.”
Now that surplus will be redistributed to local hospitals, pharmacies and other officials — as it should — and the local health department will no longer oversee the administration of future vaccines.
Hopefully, this is a singular issue. I won’t get my hopes up though.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.