As winter weather continues to impact the state, it’s caused a number of vaccine clinics to postpone to a later date.
The state department of health said when vaccine doses are taken out of their ultra-frozen storage in preparation for each clinic, they only have a shelf life of around 5 days.
With a number of these clinics postponed until next week, they’re working to reallocate those doses to other parts of the state.
“We only take out the amount that we need for really the next day’s clinic,” said Sara King, with the Cleveland County Health Department. “We have a very tight coordination process for how much vaccine we’re pulling out of the freezer.”
After several clinics across the metro decided to move to a safer day, they now have vaccine doses that need to be distributed within days. King said they postponed a clinic Wednesday and some of the vaccines they had planned to use will be distributed to local hospitals and urgent care facilities.
“Be able to push off some of the Pfizer that we had left over and be able to let them use that for the clients that they had scheduled,” said King.
Keith Reed with the OSDH said most of the state’s vaccine remains in their ultra-cold storage. Meaning it stays effective for several months, but for the one’s taken out, they’re also making sure they’re distributed before they expire.
“Those are some of the vaccines that we are going to reallocate and shift around the state to clinics that are able to continue without interruption because of the weather,” said Reed.
Reed said the state has lost around 247 vaccine doses so far and that’s a combination of vials that had gone out of temperature or needles that broke.
The OSDH said they’re also working with these clinics in preparation of additional winter weather in the coming days.