Clinics rush to vaccinate as some see surplus of supply

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A clinic that had more than 1,000 no-shows for vaccine appointments gave its excess Pfizer supply to the operators of Centennial Pharmacy Services in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.

Now, there is a race against the clock as the Pfizer shots will expire if they don't get into arms.

"A shot wasted is another person that could be vaccinated, another person that could be getting their life back to normal," said the owner of Centennial Pharmacy Services Cindi Dymowski.

Dymowski said the thought of tossing more than 1,000 unused expiring vaccines is devastating.

"It's horrible, so many people want it. So many people need it and they are desperate for it. It's heartbreaking," she said.

Dymbowski's theory is the ease of access to the vaccine has people getting a second dose of the vaccine closer to home.

"People went to places closer to get their second vaccine. So then, the second doses went unused," said Dymbowski.

One issue is people failing to cancel second dose appointments which leave clinics with surplus and no available appointments.

Centennial Pharmacy Services at 1020 N. Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia will be administering as many shots as possible from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday. If you are in line by 1 p.m., you will get a Pfizer shot, Dymowski said.

Dr. Eric Sachinwalla, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, says there's no such thing as being half-vaccinated.

"Right now, it's either you're unvaccinated or you're fully vaccinated," said Sachinwalla. "We know that there is some protection for a single dose, but how long that lasts or what that protection is, is unknown."

In Philadelphia, and the counties surrounding the city, vaccine return rates are in the high 80s to 90 percent.

Concerns about side effects shouldn't keep you from getting the second dose, Sachinwalla said.

"Even those who got symptoms, they were mild or moderate and usually lasted no more than 24 or 48 hours."
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