White House: ‘Small fraction’ of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be unused


White House officials on Tuesday said they were not concerned about the potential for states to have unused Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses go to waste, adding that the federal government is working on strategies to extend the vaccine’s shelf life.

“Our first goal and our first opportunity is that every dose that’s been ordered by a governor in a state gets used,” White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt told reporters.

“There is a very very small fraction of doses that have been sent out to states that will ultimately not be used. These will be fractional amounts. And really, will not have any significant bearing on our ability to commit to distribute vaccines globally,” Slavitt said.

Context: Slavitt was responding to a question about Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who issued an urgent plea Monday evening for vaccine providers to distribute as many doses as possible as quickly as possible.

DeWine said the state has 200,000 doses that will expire by June 23, and he does not have legal options for sending the vaccine elsewhere, either to other states or other countries.