How the Cincinnati Well being Division makes certain COVID-19 vaccines do not go to waste

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CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Department of Health, Virginia Scott’s director of nursing says her staff work long days to make sure not a single coronavirus vaccine is wasted.

“I look at it like it’s liquid gold,” she said of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that her division has started to market.

That means every vaccine supplier has a time-sensitive challenge.

“You have six hours from the time the needle goes into the vial to the time it has to get into someone else’s arm,” she said.

The CHD uses a color-coded system to keep track of when vaccines are thawed. And when they have more shots than guns, Scott, who lost an uncle to COVID-19 late last year, said the phone calls begin.

“Any other doctors, doctors, dentists – who can I call so I can make sure we don’t waste a dose?” She said.

This is in line with the guidelines of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for giving vendors the ability to give the vaccine to people outside of the current priority group.

“That’s the only thing we don’t want to see,” DeWine said on Thursday. “We don’t want to see any waste.”

DeWine said the state had given 72% of the available vaccine, adding that it would like to see this closer to 85%.

“That’s valuable,” he said of the vaccine. “It’s about human life and we can’t waste it.”

MORE: What you should know about signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine