Reps. Budd & Garcia Slam Vaccine Waste in CDC Letter

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Reps. Ted Budd (R-NC) and Mike Garcia (R-CA) sent a letter to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield asking the CDC to issue guidance to states like New York whose overly-strict vaccine regulations are resulting in wasted COVID-19 vaccines.

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Dr. Redfield,

Thank you for your tireless leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. I write to ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promptly issue guidance on how vaccine providers can best administer leftover doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to other individuals instead of throwing the unused doses away.

My concern arises from several recent stories I have heard about and seen in the media of vaccine providers discarding unused doses out of fear of repercussions from overly-strict state regulations. In New York, unused vaccines sat in freezers and some were even thrown away because vaccine providers feared Governor Cuomo’s mandate on which priority groups should be vaccinated first. And in the state of Washington, an employee at a MultiCare facility explained how some unused vaccines were thrown away at the end of shifts because the strict state guidelines made it difficult to vaccinate others outside the designated priority group. These examples are just two of many taking place across our country.

With hundreds of millions of Americans yet to be vaccinated, it’s unthinkable that unused doses are going to waste. That’s why I couldn’t agree more with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar when he recently said “there is no reason that states need to complete, say, vaccinating all health care providers before opening up vaccinations to older Americans or other especially vulnerable populations” and that states should not “leave vaccines sitting in freezers.”

Reopening America should be the top priority of our government. In order to do that, we must encourage state and local officials to cut red tape and ensure that unused vaccine doses are not going to waste. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that more Americans are able to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

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