News Headlines Article

Unused Flu Vaccines Cost California Millions
NBC Bay Area

Around this time every year, health departments across the state ramp up to battle one of the biggest risks to public health—the flu virus. In 2013, the flu killed more than 300 people in California and sickened thousands more. That’s why the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides thousands of free flu vaccines to local county health departments, in an effort to limit the virus’ impact.

But when the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit began looking into exactly how many of those vaccines actually make it out to the public, we found millions of dollars in waste with minimal oversight. It’s an inefficient system that has health experts raising this question: if counties can’t effectively distribute routine flu vaccines, how prepared are they to respond to other disease outbreaks?