NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Some of New Haven’s African American clergy members say the city is not doing enough about a bad batch of COVID-19 vaccines.
“It should have been an all-out alarm,” said Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber of the First Calvary Baptist Church.
On Friday, city officials held a press conference within hours of finding out the vaccine given out at the Health Department building for six weeks from around Christmas to almost Valentine’s Day was not stored properly.
The vaccine was kept frozen too long, meaning it might lose effectiveness. It does not pose any health risks. Department records show 625 people got that vaccine. Kimber does not believe that number.
“We do not know exactly how many people were given this contaminated vaccine,” Kimber said.
News 8 spoke to New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, who says that improper storage is not the same thing as “contamination.” He strongly objects to Kimber using that word.
“Using the word contamination is deeply irresponsible and contributes to vaccine hesitation and we don’t need that right now,” Elicker said.
The mayor says all 625 people have been notified and told to get a new vaccine shot. According to the state database, none of them actually got COVID
“We need to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what took place,” said Rev. Kimber. “People’s lives are at stake here.”
Kimber is calling for the state Department of Public Health to investigate. The mayor says it already is.
“The Department of Public Health, per my request, is actually onsite at the Health Department today reviewing our storage protocols to make sure that everything is done absolutely properly,” Elicker said.
Elicker called Kimber’s words false and not productive.