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Hospitals in Cedar Rapids making sure all COVID-19 vaccines are getting in arms

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Iowa has put more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines into arms. But what happens to vaccines leftover from no-show appointments or excess vaccine left in a vial? Both UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids and Mercy Medical Center told us they have not thrown vaccines out.

“100% all of our vaccines get put in arms,” said Dr. Alecia Allen, a Physician at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Clinic.

Staff at UnityPoint will not end their workday until that happens.

“We sometimes are working after hours and we’ll wait for a patient so that we can get them here,” Dr. Allen said.

Once vaccines are out and the seal is broken, they have to be used before they go stale.

Terri Edwards and her son Dalton of Central City weren’t going to miss their appointments on Friday afternoon at the UnityPoint clinic on Center Point Road in Hiawatha. They knocked out their second shot.

“I feel it’s in place for a reason and what I can do to protect myself, my family and everybody else is what I’m going to do,” Edwards said.

If there is any leftover vaccine for any reason, staff at the clinic will work to find someone to take the dose.

“We have our team work that waitlist, contact our patients that are eligible, get them scheduled and bring them in that same day,” Allen explained.

It’s a process that so far has kept them from tossing out a single dose.

“They’re safe, they make a difference, they’re offering hope to us as we move through this pandemic,” Allen said.

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids told us they make sure all vaccines get used by moving later appointments up a day if necessary.

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