More than 1,000 doses of precious COVID-19 vaccine had to be destroyed in Florida after a worker accidentally turned off a refrigerator.
Palm Beach County health officials said the screwup was unintentional and caused by “human error,” according to a statement released Friday to WPBF 25 News.
The catastrophe was discovered Jan. 22, when staff members found that the power supply had accidentally been turned off to a refrigerator inside a mobile outreach vehicle.
The fridge held 232 vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the vials contained a total of 1,160 doses.
The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at ultra-low temperatures in special refrigeration units.
Health officials did not elaborate on how the mistake happened, but said “additional layers of quality control” have now been implemented.
“One of the additional safeguards includes centralizing all vaccine supplies daily at a secure location with 24/7 power generator back-up,” the statement continued.
The Health Care District said it destroyed the vials after verifying with Pfizer-BioNTech that the doses were not usable.
The “isolated incident” did not impact patient safety, and Palm Beach County residents should have the “utmost confidence in the integrity” of the vaccination system, officials said
The Health Care District said its health care system has provided nearly 25,000 COVID-19 vaccines since Dec. 23.