More than 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine spoiled in Palm Beach County last week after a refrigerator lost power in a mobile vaccine unit run by the healthcare district.
The rotten doses were discovered during a standard quality assurance check on Jan. 22, when Palm Beach County healthcare district staff found 232 vials (about 1,160 doses) at an unsafe temperature in the refrigerator according to a news release issued Friday.
The vaccine had been stored after the first day of operations at a vaccination site. Due to miscommunication, the generator to the mobile unit was not set to provide power through the night, according to the healthcare district.
After the refrigeration error last week, the healthcare district confirmed with the vaccine manufacturer that the vaccine was not usable. The vials were “safely secured for destruction”, the statement says.
The district said no vaccination appointments were affected by the incident.
To prevent the same human error in the future, the healthcare district will centralize vaccine supplies daily at a secure location with 24/7 power generator backup, according to the statement.
The district said it has so far received 12,675 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and vaccinated 13,600 individuals by drawing additional doses from the vials.
Source: Nam Florida Sun Sentinel by Brooke Baitinger