KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Health Department has made the decision to no longer receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, but the move is not related to the incident that resulted in nearly 1,000 lost vaccine doses.
The Tennessee Department of Health released a statement, on behalf of KCHD, to clarify that the state vaccination team asked KCHD what vaccine product they preferred to use. KCHD chose the Moderna vaccine.
The department made the public aware of a mistake that cost the county nearly 1,000 Pfizer vaccines. The mistake, according to KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan, was made by an employee who believed a shipment of vaccines to be a box of dry ice and it was “disposed of.”
The last Pfizer shipments will go to those who must receive a second dose within the next three weeks, according to a TDH spokesperson.
Thursday, a spokesperson with KCHD said there is no evidence that the vaccine shipment arrived at the Knox County Health Department.
Late Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported KCHD voluntarily elected not to receive Pfizer vaccine shipments in the future, instead, the county opted for other available vaccine products.
“Knox County’s decision not to receive any additional Pfizer vaccine is not at all related to the incident resulting in lost vaccine doses. Our vaccination team reached out to partners including the Knox County Health Department to ask which product they’d prefer to use, and Knox County chose the Moderna vaccine. I want to make it clear that choice was not any sort of punitive action, and again, is not the result of what occurred with the missing Pfizer doses.”Shelley Walker, TDH Director of Communications
Pfizer is aware of the incident. In a statement to WATE 6 On Your Side Thursday, a spokesperson said there was not an issue on the delivery end.