Vaccine seized from medical spa due to storage problems

Colorado News

FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — About 3,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been confiscated from a Colorado Springs medical spa after county health officials observed problems in vaccine storage on Friday, prompting the state health department to investigate the vaccination process there.

The state health department announced Friday night that it suspended vaccinations at Dr. Moma Health and Wellness Clinic because of those observations earlier in the day and said investigators were working to determine if what was seen was isolated or not.

A spokesperson for the county health department, Jared Verner, told The Gazette that 150 syringes of vaccine will have to be destroyed because the state cannot verify that proper handling and temperatures were maintained at the clinic, which had been administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The fate of the remaining 3,000 doses confiscated by the Colorado National Guard will depend on the results of the state’s investigation, he said.

No one answered the telephone at the clinic on Sunday. According to its website, it offers mostly aesthetic services such as facials, acne treatment and tattoo removal and is led by Sylvienash Moma, who holds a doctorate of nursing degree.

In its news release announcing the investigation, the state health department said 3,933 people have been vaccinated at the clinic.

“Health officials do not believe patients at this site have cause for concern but are in the process of determining whether those previously vaccinated at this location will need to re-initiate their vaccine series, as occasionally happens with similar occurrences involving other vaccines,” the state health department said.

More than 1,000 vaccination appointments at the clinic were canceled Saturday in addition to another 6,000 appointments scheduled through May 8, the state health department said.

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