After supply outpaced demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Oklahoma, the state stopped receiving federal allocation back in May.
“We anticipated that we would reach that point,” said Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed. “The challenge is to estimate how long the demand will maintain its momentum.”
Reed said that demand drastically dropped quickly in the state.
The tapering off had left the state with a surplus of vaccine.
Officials said by the end of the month, about 174,000 doses of Pfizer, 3,500 doses of Johnson and Johnson and about 2,500 doses of Moderna will expire.
“We are currently waiting on feedback from the FDA and CDC about the potential for extending expiration dates,” said Reed.
Reed said they have also made requests to the federal government to move vaccines to other states that may have a greater demand, but that request has not been granted.
“This vaccine remains a federal resource,” said Reed. “As a part of our agreement to participate in the federal vaccine program, we follow the rules set forth by the government on what we can do with it.”
If there is no extension or movement of the vaccine, by the end of September over half a million doses will expire.
“We will ensure continued proper storage of the vaccine per manufacturer directions until we hear from the FDA or CDC that it will be extended or that a decision has been made,” said Reed. “At that point, we will follow their directions on disposal of the vaccine.”
Reed said there is no timeline set when they expect to hear from the FDA or CDC.