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Temperature problems given as reason behind COVID-19 vaccine problems in central Newfoundland

LPN Nicole Robinson prepares the first COVID vaccine dose to be administered.
- Contributed

A cold chain break is the reason Central Health is giving as the reason behind a rapid vaccination delivery in Grand Falls-Windsor earlier this month.

On Jan. 7, the shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine meant for the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre went outside the recommended temperature window what is permitted for longer storage.

The temperature requirement for that vaccine is between –60 C and –80 C.

The shipment’s temperature monitor had fallen outside the recommended temperature. That meant 160 doses of Central Health’s supply had to be administered within six hours.

Due to this, those doses were slotted for the following day’s COVID-19 clinic.

“As a result of the cold chain break, we quickly organized an impromptu clinic with priority health-care workers, along with any employees, who were available to attend at such a short notice,” Central Health said in a statement.

Of those 160 doses administered, none went to waste and another shipment of the vaccine arrived the next day, the health authority said.

In the days immediately following that first issue, there were no further issues with transportation, and vaccines were successfully given to priority health-care workers, along with the residents and staff of long-term care homes in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor, Central Health said.

“This was an excellent example of the robust planning in the region to allow staff to adapt quickly to any situation,” read the statement.

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