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State: More than 1,400 COVID-19 vaccines reported as 'not usable'

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 19:16:42-05

CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday 1,405 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been reported as "not usable" by vaccine providers statewide.

A spokesperson for the state health department said the list of 1,405 doses included vaccines "classified as wasted, damaged in transit or doses lost for which the provider could not be held responsible for."

That included things like doses not held at the proper temperature when shipped, expired, dropped, or damaged vials.

At least 140 of the doses were reported by providers in Northeast Ohio.

"As we know however in any large-scale vaccination program depending on people there are sometimes human error," said Governor Mike DeWine Tuesday when announcing residents of five area long-term care facilities were given vaccines that were not stored at proper temperatures.

The list included nine doses reported by Cleveland's health department.

Last month, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson explained the city disposed of two doses after they fell off a table.

"They put the syringes on the table, and they fell off the table, a couple of them," said Jackson. "As a result, they didn't break or anything, but they decided not to use them."

Also on the list of "not useable" vaccines were 105 doses from University Hospitals in Cleveland.

In a statement Wednesday, a UH spokesperson explained in late January the hospital received a shipment of 100 vaccines that failed a temperature check when they arrived.

UH said the situation was immediately reported to the state and the vaccines were replaced.

"What’s important for our community and caregivers to know is that UH has exercised the highest level of care and responsibility to assure that the greatest possible number of patients benefit from the limited supplies of vaccine available," the hospital said in a statement.

The 1,405 doses reported as not usable makeup less than one percent of the more than 900,000 people who received vaccines in Ohio.

However, the list does not include the mishandled doses given to residents of the long-term care facilities in Northeast Ohio.

That's because the state says those doses came from the federal government and were not part of the state's distribution.