Minnesota risks vaccine waste to get shots in arms

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Minnesota has changed its guidance from avoiding COVID-19 vaccine waste at all costs to risking a little waste if it allows providers to get more shots in arms.

The Minnesota Department of Health’s official provider guide was updated Friday with a section previously titled “do not waste vaccine” renamed “do not miss an opportunity to vaccinate.”

State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said the original policy was devised this winter when vaccine doses were extremely limited and “treated like gold,” but supplies have increased and the new challenge is making sure shots are available when people want them.

“If someone walks up [to a vaccine clinic] and says they want to be vaccinated, and it’s the end of the day, we want to get that person vaccinated,” she said. “We don’t want to miss that chance.”

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