HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- The state’s Department of Public Health said thousands of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are set to expire.
Officials from the state's Dept. of Public Health said Connecticut has roughly 80,000 J&J doses, and 95 percent of them are set to expire between now and June 24.
This comes as vaccine demand has dropped off.
“We have not ordered new J&J through our state allocation since the J&J pause in early April, which has allowed us to gradually and responsibly work through our inventory as best as we can. In light of the expiring doses, we are employing a first-in, first-out strategy, filling all J&J orders through transfers from other state providers to avoid wastage. Unfortunately, the reality is that we are only using roughly 3,000 doses of J&J a week, so the majority of our doses will not be used before their current expiration date,” the department said in a statement.
This week, Johnson & Johnson said it is looking at whether or not expiration dates on its COVID-19 vaccines can be extended.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday that it's conducting stability testing "with the goal of extending the amount of time our COVID-19 vaccine can be stored before expiry." The J&J vaccine can be stored for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures, but longer if frozen.
State public health officials said they reached out to their federal partners several weeks ago about the potential for unused doses.
“We have advocated, and continue to advocate, that these doses be re-deployed elsewhere, either in the U.S. or abroad, where they could be put to use. Many states however are in a similar situation, and there does not appear to be any domestic demand for these doses,” the statement said.
On Thursday morning, officials said they received guidance from the White House saying providers should quarantine their expiring doses instead of throwing them out, as studies are being done to determine if expiration dates can be safely extended.
The state said it will continue to work with providers to use as many doses as possible before the expiration date.