KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The state health department said late Thursday night it was working with the Knox County Health Department to fully investigate the discarded COVID-19 vaccines incident and believed it to be “human error and not intentional.”
Tennessee Department of Health’s response to the matter comes after KCHD made the public aware of a mistake that cost the county 975 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 statement from TDH also revealed that KCHD had voluntarily elected to receive the other vaccine product and will not receive Pfizer vaccines in the future; with the exception of the second doses that will need to be administered over the next three weeks.
Earlier Thursday, a spokesperson with KCHD said there is no evidence that the vaccine shipment arrived at the Knox County Health Department. KCHD requested the state to investigate.
TDH also said the Pfizer equipment “appears to have been tracking properly.”
“Vaccines are to be unpacked and inspected immediately upon arrival at the site and stored according to appropriate storage guidelines.
The state has notified Pfizer of the mistake, as well as the temperature/GPS issues that the Knox County Health Department reported. The state’s allocations are based upon population.
Tennessee receives approximately 2% of the federal allocation. We now have the ability to see estimates three weeks in advance. The state has made recipients aware of the typical cadence of vaccine shipments. Notification comes straight from the manufacturer/distributor.”Tennessee Department of Health
This is a developing story.