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Ohio Department of Health suspends COVID-19 vaccine provider over wasted doses

The company reportedly mishandled nearly 900 doses.

OHIO, USA — As the state navigates an ongoing COVID-19 vaccine shortage, the Ohio Department of Health has decided to suspend a vaccine supplier, effective immediately. 

The Department took immediate action after learning that SpecialityRX, based in Columbus, had allegedly mishandled 890 doses of the Moderna vaccine, a press release reported Wednesday. 

Despite not being part of the federal long-term care pharmacy partnership program, SpecialityRX was given 1,500 vaccines to vaccinate residents at eight long-term care facilities before the new year. Following the administering of the first doses, the company, while exploring a transfer, failed to properly monitor temperatures in their refrigerator and freezer containing the remaining doses, leaving them unusable. 

A list of the eight long-term care facilities can be found below including four in Cuyahoga County : 

  • Braeview Manor - 20611 Euclid Avenue Euclid, OH 44117
  • Aristocrat Berea healthcare and rehabilitation - 255 Front St Berea OH 44017
  • Candlewood Healthcare and Rehabilitation - 1835 Belmore Rd., Cleveland OH 44112
  • City view Healthcare and Rehabilitation- 6606 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland OH 44103
  • Suburban Healthcare and Rehabilitation- 20265 Emery Rd, Cleveland OH 44128
  • Astoria Place of Clyde- 700 Helen St Clyde OH 43410
  • Astoria place of Waterville- 555 Anthony Wayne Trail Waterville OH 43566
  • Kent Healthcare and Rehabilitation - 1290 Fairchild Ave Kent, OH 44240

The Ohio Department of Health requires all vaccine providers to check and record the minimum and maximum temperatures of cold storage refrigerators and/or freezers each workday. 

The Department has asked for the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to open an investigation into the vaccine mishandling. Additionally, any future allocation to SpecialtyRX have been halted. The company has been "instructed to not administer or transfer any of the affected doses and to keep them quarantined in both units until next steps are given," the press release states.