MSU Texas tosses 360 expired Pfizer vaccines
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Midwestern State University is having to throw away 360 unused Pfizer COVID vaccines that expired in February.
Now without the vaccines, staff are concerned especially since students have left for spring break.
Dr. Keith Williamson, medical director on campus, said even though numbers are low in Wichita County only around half of the students on campus have received their first shot of a COVID vaccine, nowhere near the 95 percent of herd immunity he had hoped to see on campus by now.
“These went to waste and I was ready to give it to anybody in the community that called and said I want one that makes me kind of sad so for the community and sad for our efforts here,” Williamson said.
The expired shots will now have to be put into medical waste after they costed thousands of dollars for the Texas Department of Health and Human Services to purchase. Williams said since students returned to campus in January up until now, he’s only administered 20-30 vaccines.
“Those that have been immunized are probably all we’re going to get at this phase. The rest are going to accept their immunity from getting the disease, which fortunately for college students doesn’t seem to be that severe. It’s just that it passes so ultimately until someone who is,” Williamson said.
Professors like Dr. Steve Garrison, who sees students every day in the classroom, have a different relationship with the students but share the same end goal as Williamson of just wanting students to be safe.
“One of the ways I explain is my uncle had polio growing up, so I just explain how important the vaccine was to my family. That’s something my family didn’t have to worry about with me as a kid and so on because I had that, so I try to encourage them to do it as well,” Garrison said. “I don’t want to say I’m scared or anything like that, but you follow the guidelines, we spray down disinfectant on the computers desk the tabletops so that it’s not passed on but it’s a good practice.”
Williamson said he has no plans to order any more vaccines until he is for sure they won’t go to waste. If there is a positive patient, he can write prescriptions for a COVID preventing pill.
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