Updated: 2/24/2021


THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS RELEASED A STATEMENT CONCERNING THEIR RECENT INVESTIGATION OF THE SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT’S WASTAGE OF COVID-19 VACCINE. THE INVESTIGATION WAS TRIGGERED AFTER SHELBY COUNTY REPORTED THAT MORE THAN 1,000 DOSES OF THE COVID VACCINE WERE DISCARDED DUE TO EXPIRATION.

THE GOVERNORS UNIFIED COMMAND GROUP IMMEDIATELY DEPLOYED STATE HEALTH PERSONNEL TO ASSESS, INVESTIGATE, AND PROVIDE SUPPORT. THEY FOUND THAT THERE WERE AT LEAST SEVEN INCIDENTS OF WASTE AMOUNTING TO MORE THAN 2,400 WASTED DOSES AND A LARGE SURPLUS OF VACCINES IN INVENTORY AMOUNTING TO AN EXCESS OF  30,000 DOSES.  A LACK OF STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, INSUFFICIENT RECORD KEEPING, AND POOR MANAGEMENT PROCESSES FOR SOON-TO-EXPIRE VACCINES WERE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS IN THE WASTAGE. THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MOVED THE CURRENT SURPLUS OF VACCINE TO OTHER VACCINATION SITES FOR RAPID ADMINISTRATION, AND HAS NOW EMBEDDED PERSONNEL TO ASSIST SHELBY COUNTY AND IS CLOSELY MONITORING THE SITUATION.