TULSA COUNTY, Okla. — Tulsa Health Department officials announced Tuesday a cold storage error was discovered in 1,150 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The doses were “inadvertently administered” at vaccination clinics at James O. Goodwin Health Center, Central Regional Health Center, Sand Springs Health Center, and North Regional Health and Wellness Center from May 3, 2021 through May `17, 2021.
“Clinic staff performing routine vaccine inventory identified a portion of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that had been stored in the freezer for longer than the recommended time frame,” Tulsa Health Department Chief Operating Officer Reggie Ivey said.
Ivey said the Pfizer vaccine can remain in freezer storage at temperatures from -13 degrees to 5 degrees for up to two weeks. He said the affected doses were left in ultra cold storage from 13 to 28 days.
Tulsa Health officials told media in a virtual press conference, Tuesday, frozen and refrigerated doses are monitored daily with a “data-logging thermometer.” They said an outside security company also oversees the doses to ensure they remain in the accepted temperature range.
After consultation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, THD officials are asking the 1,150 affected people to schedule appointments for a third, repeat dose for complete protection against the virus.
“The individuals will receive a total of three doses to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID,” THD Clinical Services Manager Dr. Ellen Niemitalo said.
“We understand that this may be upsetting and inconvenient for those affected individuals and we want to ensure them that there are no more increased risks to them,” Ivey said.
Ivey said the repeat dose should be administered as soon as possible in the opposite arm. He said there are no known risks from a third Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose.
He also said, in accordance with CDC recommendation, those who received a defected first dose should get wait to get their last dose 21 days after the repeat dose. He said the CDC advises against pregnant woman receiving a third dose due to lack of data.
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