More than 82 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have reportedly gone to waste since the beginning of the pandemic, according to media reports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared the data with NBC News, meaning that just over 11% of doses the federal government distributed between December 202 through mid-May were discarded.
That's nearly 20 million more doses wasted than the 65 million The Associated Press reported wasted in February.
CVS and Walmart were responsible for the largest amount – over a quarter – of doses thrown away during the 1.5-year time period. Other chains like Rite Aid, Costco and a dialysis center each wasted more than a quarter of the doses they received, the report said.
The vaccines come in a vial and have a short shelf life. Once opened, they have to be used fairly quickly before they have to be thrown away.
Nationwide, more than 751 million doses have been distributed and 221.5 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. However, less than half of all those fully vaccinated have received their first booster shot.
Last week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha said children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years of age could possibly get vaccinated as soon as June 21.
"Our expectation is that within weeks, every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment," Jha said.