The LA County Department of Public Health allows clinics to throw unused vaccines in the trash rather than inoculate thousands of residents desperate to get the shot, and it furiously has at least one county leader on a mission to reverse this insane policy.
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn responds to a story TMZ broke last week when a clinic administering the vaccine to healthcare professionals ended the day with 150 unused vials of the COVID vaccine that was about to be destroyed … because a large number of people who signed up, was not showing up.
The clinic – Men’s Health Foundation in Inglewood – contacted people who were not on the priority list but desperately wanted the vaccine, and these people received the remaining doses. Incredibly, it’s struggling with the County Health Dept’s guidelines that say ONLY people on the priority list should be vaccinated, EVEN IF THE VACCINES WILL NOT END ANOTHER BACK.
We worked this story for 4 days and went back and forth with the health department, which never gave us an answer to our question – ISN’T IT BETTER TO VACCINATE NON-PRIORITY RESIDENTS THAN THROW THE PRECIOUS VACCINES IN THE WASTE? We never got an official answer to this question, but sources who were in a conversation with the health department tell us that they decided they would not take criminal action against clinics that repeated what the Men’s Health Foundation did. But it is a terrible solution.
Here’s the problem … the policy still says that non-priority people cannot get the vaccine now, so clinics are essentially told that it is still wrong to vaccinate non-priority residents even if the vaccines would otherwise go to waste. What’s even worse is that the County Health Dept is NEVER REASONED FOR PUBLIC, THAT THEY WILL NOT ATTEND THESE CLINICS, so the fear is that vaccines will be thrown in the trash.
Supervisor Hahn is upset and wants the health department to come up with the program and clarify this insane regulation … Immediately.
The fact is that the department is headed by Barbara Ferrer, has been completely unprepared for the vaccine’s rollout, and people inside her department are furious. There was no real plan for vaccinations, despite everyone knowing for months that the vaccines were on the horizon.
To be genuine … defy common sense to throw away these life-saving vaccines rather than create a waiting list for EVERYONE when there are unused vials that are no longer frozen and about to be destroyed.
This is probably a problem all over the country and it needs to be addressed now … as in NOW.