NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Investigations are underway to figure out how thousands of vaccines were left in a freezer too long at the New Haven Department of Public Health.
Between Dec. 23, 2021, and Feb. 7, 2022, more than 600 people over the age of 12 received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the New Haven Department of Health at 54 Meadow St. Those doses experienced a “temperature extrusion” due to improper storage, which may cause it to be less effective against the virus.
Health Director Maritza Bond said an internal review revealed an isolated incident of vaccine management involving a lack of clear communication as to responsibility for checking the time moving the vaccine from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Approximately 2,900 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were left in the freezer too long, Bond said. Of those doses, 656 were administrated to 625 people.
Bond said they cross-referenced those 625 people with the state database, and none have been identified as having gotten COVID-19 unless they tested positive with an at-home rapid test that the health department cannot track.
As of Thursday, health officials have reached 61% of the people impacted, and 95% of them had no medical concerns. Letters were mailed to all 625 patients, and those without a valid phone number were sent a registered letter.
Bond said 19 of the 625 people impacted have received another shot at the New Haven Department of Health. Mayor Justin Elicker said it’s hard for them to know just how many people have received an additional shot because they could have gone to any clinic.
Elicker said an independent contractor is reviewing employee conduct to ensure accountability. The city’s third-party investigation starts Monday.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is also investigating. They said their report will come out next week.
“We want to be very cautious that we do things properly,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.
If you or someone you know received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Meadow Street location during that time frame, you can get an additional dose at the New Haven Health Department Vaccination Clinic at the following times:
- Monday-Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Ages 5+)
- Thursday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Ages 5+)
No appointments are needed.