DENVER (KDVR) — A refrigeration issue shut down a COVID-19 vaccination site in Adams County Wednesday, raising questions about the state’s vaccine storage requirements and how they’re monitored.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said more than 2,700 doses of the vaccine were moved to a state lab for safe storage. The state discovered the issue at the site operated by Advanced Urgent Care while reviewing temperature logs. The state is still evaluating the impacted vaccine doses to determine if they are safe to use, and also looking at whether any previous doses may have been compromised.
The Problem Solvers spoke with pharmacy leaders at two major hospitals in the Denver metro to get an understanding of the storage requirements and how often they’re checked by the state.
Valerie Davis, pharmacy director at Sky Ridge Medical Center, said they follow guidelines set by the CDPHE and by the vaccine manufacturers. She said they keep a daily printed log to record freezer and refrigerator temperatures twice a day, in addition to using a digital data logger.
“That is reading the temperature every 15 minutes. If the temperature were to go out of range, it would alert us right away via text. We can manage any issues immediately and take care of that,” said Davis.
Davis said they take vaccine storage seriously.
“It’s very critical to us. It’s one of our main jobs as pharmacists, making sure that the vaccine is under the right conditions,” said Davis.
Nathalie Seoldo Hinman, director of pharmacy services at Denver Health, described a similar process.
“We put eyes on it twice a day and there is also a manual log that is a requirement of the state. We must be able to produce temperature logs upon request by either the CDC or the state,” said Seoldo Hinman.
Both Seoldo Hinman and Davis said the state had not asked for COVID-19 vaccine temperature logs until recently, within the last week.
The CDPHE did not immediately respond to our request asking how often temperature logs are checked.