/At risk of expiring, Louisville Walgreens gives surplus COVID-19 vaccine to general public – WLKY Louisville

At risk of expiring, Louisville Walgreens gives surplus COVID-19 vaccine to general public – WLKY Louisville


A Louisville woman received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after a handful were made available to the general public at a Walgreens. Julie Dryden said she received a text from a friend on Christmas Eve alerting her that the Walgreens on Lime Kiln Lane was offering around a dozen doses of the vaccine to people in the store. Dryden and her husband rushed there and found out it was true. “And so they were like, ‘We’ve got two left, one, two,’ and I was the last person,” Dryden said. Diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency, Dryden is immunocompromised and has barely left her home in 10 months. She said she cried when she realized she would be getting vaccinated.”I had joked since June, like, all I want for Christmas is a COVID vaccine,” she said. “Having the immunodeficiency coupled with the lung illness, and being that this is a respiratory virus, I’m at super high risk for any kind of exposure.” Dryden said a pharmacy employee told her the doses were supposed to go to a long-term care facility. In a statement, a spokesperson for Walgreens said each facility is responsible for requesting the number of doses needed to vaccinate residents and care staff and that, in an “isolated situation,” a facility ordered more doses than they needed. The Pfizer vaccine can only remain at refrigerated temperatures for five days. Before the vaccine could expire, the company reallocated some of those doses to other care facilities and the rest were offered to local first responders, pharmacy employees and residents, like Dryden. “These measures were taken to ensure every dose of a limited vaccine supply was used to protect patients and communities,” the company said. Walgreens emphasized the vaccine is not available to the general public and said it is committed to ensuring excess vaccine inventory goes to priority patient populations. Gov. Andy Beshear was asked about the “extra” vaccines during his Monday COVID-19 briefing. He said a similar thing happened in Lexington as well. “I don’t think this was intentional… mistakes are going to happen. I believe here a mistake happened in the thawing, but the reaction isn’t what it should have been. But do I believe it came from a good place? Yes.”He said the situation should have been handled differently and they will be working with those facilities to make sure the right thing happens next time, which he says would have been getting it out to the next long-term care facility in line.Dryden recognizes her luck reveals what could be a crack in the vaccine distribution system, which is currently prioritizing healthcare workers, seniors, and first responders. She said she’s grateful for her Christmas miracle and sees any vaccination as a step towards normalcy for everyone.”My nephew is 21, and if he had been in Walgreens and he would have gotten it, I would have been so pumped because that’s one more person that is protected that is then going to protect other people from getting it,” she said.

A Louisville woman received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after a handful were made available to the general public at a Walgreens.

Julie Dryden said she received a text from a friend on Christmas Eve alerting her that the Walgreens on Lime Kiln Lane was offering around a dozen doses of the vaccine to people in the store. Dryden and her husband rushed there and found out it was true.

“And so they were like, ‘We’ve got two left, one, two,’ and I was the last person,” Dryden said.

Diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency, Dryden is immunocompromised and has barely left her home in 10 months. She said she cried when she realized she would be getting vaccinated.

“I had joked since June, like, all I want for Christmas is a COVID vaccine,” she said. “Having the immunodeficiency coupled with the lung illness, and being that this is a respiratory virus, I’m at super high risk for any kind of exposure.”

Dryden said a pharmacy employee told her the doses were supposed to go to a long-term care facility.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Walgreens said each facility is responsible for requesting the number of doses needed to vaccinate residents and care staff and that, in an “isolated situation,” a facility ordered more doses than they needed.

The Pfizer vaccine can only remain at refrigerated temperatures for five days. Before the vaccine could expire, the company reallocated some of those doses to other care facilities and the rest were offered to local first responders, pharmacy employees and residents, like Dryden.

“These measures were taken to ensure every dose of a limited vaccine supply was used to protect patients and communities,” the company said.

Walgreens emphasized the vaccine is not available to the general public and said it is committed to ensuring excess vaccine inventory goes to priority patient populations.

Gov. Andy Beshear was asked about the “extra” vaccines during his Monday COVID-19 briefing. He said a similar thing happened in Lexington as well.

“I don’t think this was intentional… mistakes are going to happen. I believe here a mistake happened in the thawing, but the reaction isn’t what it should have been. But do I believe it came from a good place? Yes.”

He said the situation should have been handled differently and they will be working with those facilities to make sure the right thing happens next time, which he says would have been getting it out to the next long-term care facility in line.

Dryden recognizes her luck reveals what could be a crack in the vaccine distribution system, which is currently prioritizing healthcare workers, seniors, and first responders. She said she’s grateful for her Christmas miracle and sees any vaccination as a step towards normalcy for everyone.

“My nephew is 21, and if he had been in Walgreens and he would have gotten it, I would have been so pumped because that’s one more person that is protected that is then going to protect other people from getting it,” she said.

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