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HSE confirms 22 vials of vaccine unusable after incorrect storage at nursing home

The HSE said an appropriate cold chain was not in place.

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THE HSE HAS confirmed that 22 vials of the coronavirus vaccine could not be used because they had been incorrectly stored after being delivered to a nursing home.

The incident, first reported by RTÉ, occurred with vials that were sent to a nursing home in the Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation. 

In a statement, the HSE said an appropriate cold chain was not in place at the nursing home and these vials, which contained doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, cannot be used. Each vial contains at least five doses.

“It is disappointing for all concerned, residents and staff. We are sorry that this incident has taken place,” the HSE said.

“However, 49 residents and staff were successfully vaccinated at the facility. The community healthcare organisation will now work with national colleagues to undertake the remaining vaccinations at the longterm residential care facility as soon as possible.”

The HSE said it is conscious that this news is upsetting for families, residents and staff who are working hard to protect residents. It said a range of supports are being offered to all concerned.

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“The breach has been reported and all necessary processes will be followed,” it said.

Up to Sunday, 143,000 vaccine doses have been administered across the country. 

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