A NUMBER of vaccines meant for nursing homes across Ireland were forced to be dumped after they were incorrectly stored.
130 vaccine doses, due to be delivered in nursing homes in the Midlands, Louth and Meath Community Healthcare Organisation were rendered unusable after they were incorrectly stored.
The appropriate cold chain used to preserve the vaccines was not in place, meaning the vaccines could not be used, a spokesperson for the Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed.
22 vaccine vials were affected by the mistake, with each vial containing approximately six doses.
Responding to a request for information from Virgin Media News, a spokesperson apologised, saying it was "disappointing for all concerned, residents and staff, and we are sorry that this incident has taken place".
They went on to acknowledge that the news that 130 vaccines have been spoiled is "upsetting news for families, residents and staff members who are working hard to protect residents from Covid-19", and confirmed that a range of supports is being offered to all concerned.
The breach has been reported and all necessary processes will be followed, the spokesperson added. Some nursing home residents and staff were vaccinated as planned with the remaining, unspoiled vaccines.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide immunisation by providing two doses of the vaccine approximately three weeks apart.
Both vaccines must be stored in conditions between two and eight degrees after being removed from ultra-cold storage, and must be administered within six hours after they reach room temperature.
Johnson & Johnson have created a vaccine which requires just one dose to provide immunisation, and are expected to seek EU approval for the roll-out of their vaccine next month.
Should it be approved, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine could accelerate the vaccination programme due to the requirement for just one dose rather than two spaced weeks apart.