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PBC Health District: Human error mistake ruined 1160 doses of COVID vaccine

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AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County says more than a thousand doses of the precious Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, which requires ultra-cold conditions, had to be destroyed due to human error. Officials revealed the life-saving vaccine was not kept cold enough: minus 70 degrees Celsius, which is colder than the Antarctic winter.

The mistake was discovered on the morning of Jan. 22. when district officials were conducting a standard quality check and realized 232 vials of the vaccine were too warm.

Two-hundred thirty-two vials equal 1,160 doses of the vaccine.

In a statement, the Health Care District said, “It was determined this incident was caused when the power supply for a refrigerator storing the vaccine on our mobile unit at an outreach site was unintentionally turned off.”

The statement went on to say the District immediately began installing new safeguards, including putting all vaccine supplies in a secure location with constant power generator backup.

District officials said all the compromised vaccine was destroyed, and all the vaccines they’ve administered were safe.