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Wasted COVID Vaccines In Massachusetts Are A 'Missed Opportunity,' Baker Says

DANVERS (CBS) -- More than 1,200 valuable coronavirus vaccines have gone to waste in Massachusetts, the state told the WBZ-TV I-Team on Tuesday. Gov. Charlie Baker reacted to the news Wednesday, calling the waste of any shots "a tremendous loss."

"Any vaccine that gets lost is a missed opportunity to vaccinate somebody," Baker said in a news conference from the mass vaccination site in Danvers. "Which especially when you're talking about the populations we're talking about here is a tremendous loss."

Massachusetts is currently making a push to vaccinate as many residents 75 years and older as possible. The state also announced that starting Thursday, caregivers for those over age 75 will now also be able to get vaccinated.

Baker said the storage requirements for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which need to be kept at very cold temperatures, make the rollout process "more complicated." The supervisor of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center told the I-Team that some extra doses went to waste when "there was nobody on a wait list that we could access in that moment."

"Most of the sites are working on guidance they got from us or the providers about how to manage. . . call backs or 'quick call' people that you believe you can get vaccinated, who were eligible if some people don't show up," Baker said. "I think at this point in time that's worked reasonably well."

The vaccine wastage percentage in the state is 0.13% out of the roughly 1 million doses shipped to Massachusetts. Baker said the state will take action against providers who do a bad job of preventing waste.

"If anybody performs really poorly on this, we're just going to stop giving them vaccine," he said.

Anyone who is eligible for a vaccine in Massachusetts, should visit for details on how to book an appointment.

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