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State has wasted 1,200 doses of coronavirus vaccine, public health officials say

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The state has wasted over 1,200 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, a fraction of the nearly 1 million doses that have been shipped to Massachusetts so far, according to public health officials.

“As of 2/5: a total of 1,096 doses of Moderna and 176 doses of Pfizer were reported as wasted or 1,272 doses total,” said Ann Scales, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Health, in an e-mail. “Of the 960,100 doses shipped to date this represents a vaccine wastage percentage of 0.13%.”

The wasted doses were previously reported by the Boston Herald.

The figure provided by DPH doesn’t include the nearly 2,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that were spoiled last month at the Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center when a cleaning contractor accidentally loosened an electric plug on a freezer.


The state DPH doesn’t track the doses the federal government provides directly to the VA.

The DPH said Tuesday that a total of 696,051 first doses of the coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Massachusetts, along with 214,361 second doses.

The total of 910,412 doses administered amounts to 70.9 percent of the 1,283,700 doses shipped to providers in the state so far, the department said in a new daily vaccination report.

Massachusetts is in the midst of a campaign to vaccinate millions of people in an effort to bring an end to a pandemic that has sickened hundreds of thousands and caused nearly 15,000 deaths in the state. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the only vaccines authorized so far, are both two-dose vaccines.

The state’s second surge appears to be subsiding. Cases, hospitalizations, and other metrics have been heading downward. But public officials are concerned about a possible virus comeback due to new coronavirus variants, and they’re asking people to continue taking precautions and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.


Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at