An official tally of Oregon's COVID-19 vaccine doses shows that a very small fraction of doses meant for Oregonians' arms have been thrown away instead.
The number of wasted vaccine doses: just 476. The total number of doses sent to Oregon as of April 2: 2,406,845. That means vaccine clinics have trashed just 0.02% of doses.
Those figures were provided by the Oregon Health Authority in response to questions from WW. They reflect only doses that OHA had compiled data on. (Not included in this data are doses that go to the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and some tribal health clinics.)
The low waste number is significant because Oregon still has a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and is lagging in getting shots into arms as variants of the virus spread.
The number appears to rule out one possible reason Oregon has fallen behind other states in its percentage of residents vaccinated. Waste does not appear to be a factor.
Only two of the doses were reported to be spoiled by a refrigeration problem, which is notable because both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have to be stored at freezing temperatures.
The OHA accounting says 110 Moderna doses were thrown out related to a recall, which is puzzling because there have been no official recalls of Moderna vaccines. (The vaccine was put on hold briefly in California in January after reports of a severe allergic reaction, and OHA did not respond to a follow-up question this weekend.)
There was no specific reason given for "spoilage" of the remaining doses.
Following WW's inquiry, OHA says it will begin reporting the number of doses spoiled.
Oregon Health Authority director Pat Allen has told the governor the state is not getting its fair allocation of vaccine doses, The Oregonian reported this week. OHA has offered no detailed accounting of those allocation numbers.