A staffer who was transporting syringes from an on-site pharmacy to tents where the vaccinations were being administered noticed the cooler's temperatures were nearing an unacceptable low. The staffer then added a hand warmer to warm up the doses which was not protocol.
As a result, the efficacy of the treatment was compromised. However, there was no harm from the shot, officials claim.
It happened on February 15, 2021. About 80 people were affected by the error, according to state officials. More than 1,300 people were vaccinated on that day.
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Every person impacted by the ineffective vaccine was contacted and had their appointments rescheduled.
"New Yorkers' health and safety is our top priority, and due to this vaccine's very specific temperature sensitivity, we have a process in place to identify if any temperature excursions occur," the NYS Health Department said in a statement.
"This process worked, allowing us to quickly pinpoint this issue, identify the extremely small number of individuals impacted, and immediately begin taking action. The Department of Health has determined there was no health risk to New Yorkers, and we have contacted everyone involved to reschedule their appointments as soon as possible."