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Lucas County trying to use 3,400 Covid-19 vaccines before they expire

The Johnson and Johnson vaccines must be used or they could go to waste
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:46 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The clock is ticking for local health departments and vaccine providers across the state of Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine says there are 200,000 unused doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that expire in a matter of days.

The large shipments that were sent out to health departments a few months ago, expire on June 23, 2021. There is a huge surplus and health leaders are scrambling to try to get shots in arms. It’s an uphill battle as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to drop, health orders are lifted and vaccination rates slow significantly. In Lucas County, the health department has 3,400 doses of the J & J vaccine to administer in the next 15 days.

“In the beginning we were so petrified to waste one dose, and we did everything we can not to waste and now look at it, we could waste 200 thousand in the state of Ohio,” Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said.

Zgodzinski says they are doing everything they can to make sure the vaccines do not go to waste. This week, the Health Department is teaming up with multiple businesses and the VProject to try and vaccinate as many people as possible, but incentives only go so far and the number of people seeking out the vaccine is dropping dramatically.

In the past month, the health department’s vaccination rate for the Johnson and Johnson vaccinate dropped 63% when comparing the week of May 9th with the week of May 30th.

“They’re not coming for whatever reason. they already decided they don’t want a vaccine, there’s a barrier that we haven’t figured out yet,” says Zgodzinski.

Zgodzinski says they are open to anything creative to get shots in arms and are willing to offer clinics to anyone that wants to host. Vaccine clinics are hosted daily, you can find one by clicking here. If you want to partner with the health department and host a vaccine clinic or offer an incentive just call 419-213-4100.

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