Health chiefs have apologised after Covid-19 vaccines had to be dumped as they had not been stored correctly at a nursing home in this region.
The HSE confirmed that more than 130 doses of the vaccine – 22 vials – could not be used as they were “incorrectly stored” after being delivered to a nursing home in the Midlands Louth Meath Community Health group.
The HSE said the “appropriate cold chain was not in place” at the nursing home and these vials, which contained doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, had to go to waste.
The vials contain around six doses each, enough to give 132 people a first or second dose.
“It is disappointing for all concerned, residents and staff” a HSE spokesperson said in a statement.
“We are sorry that this incident has taken place.
“We are very conscious that this is upsetting news for families, residents and staff members who are working hard to protect residents from Covid-19 and we are offering a range of supports to all concerned.
“The breach has been reported and all necessary processes will be followed.”
Despite the 22 vials not being able to be used 49 residents and staff were successfully vaccinated at the facility in the region.
“The Community Healthcare Organisation will now work with national colleagues to undertake the remaining vaccinations at the long-term residential care facility as soon as possible”, the spokesperson added.
After vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are removed from ultra-cold storage freezers for distribution they must be kept refrigerated between two and eight degrees.
The doses must be used within six hours after they reach room temperature.
The vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are currently stored in a cold chain facility in Citywest, southwest Dublin before being delivered to hospitals and nursing homes to be administered.
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