Coronavirus: Vaccine provider suspended after nearly 900 doses wasted in Ohio

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Ohio Department of Health has halted future coronavirus vaccine shipments to a Columbus provider after nearly 900 doses of the Moderna vaccine were wasted.

SpecialtyRX received 1,500 vaccines to administer to residents at eight long-term care facilities. After distributing the first doses, the provider was looking into transferring the remaining 890 doses to another provider. However, it was discovered the doses were unusable after SpecialtyRX failed to monitor the temperatures of its refrigerator and freezer, according to ODH.

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All vaccine providers are required to check and record the minimum and maximum temperatures of cold storage refrigerators and freezers every work day.

The state health department’s immunization program has launched an investigation and is requesting the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy start an investigating as well.

The first doses of the Moderna vaccine administered by SpecialtyRX were viable. However, the long-term care facilities will have to receive their second doses from another provider.

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ODH has instructed SpecialtyRX to not administer or transfer any of the remaining doses and to keep them quarantined until further guidance is available.

SpecialtyRX was not one of the pharmacies included in the federal vaccination program that partnered pharmacies with nursing homes and assisted living centers.