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Columbus Vaccine Provider Wasted Hundreds Of Doses, Health Department Says

Crown Pointe Care Center resident Rebecca Meeker, left, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kate Latta, PharmD, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Meeker was the first long-term care patient in Ohio to receive a vaccine.
Jay LaPrete
/
Associated Press
Crown Pointe Care Center resident Rebecca Meeker, left, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kate Latta, PharmD, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Meeker was the first long-term care patient in Ohio to receive a vaccine.

Hundreds of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had to be thrown out after a provider in Columbus failed to keep them at the proper temperature, the Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday.

State officials suspended New Jersey-based SpecialtyRX from Ohio’s vaccination program after its Columbus pharmacy spoiled 890 doses of the Moderna vaccine. SpecialtyRX received a total of 1,500 doses to vaccinate residents at eight long-term care facilities by the end of the year.

The first round of shots went fine, but the state health department says the remainder went bad due to improper storage temperatures.

"After administering the first doses, SpecialtyRX had 890 doses remaining. The company was exploring a transfer of the doses to another provider when it was discovered that t hey had failed to appropriately monitor temperatures in their refrigerator and freezer," a press release from the Ohio Department of Health reads.

State officials have halted any future allocations of vaccine to the company. That means residents of those eight long-term care facilities will likely have to coordinate with their local health departments to receive their second shots.

The health department is requesting an investigation into the incident from the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.