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Power outage destroys Covid-19 vaccines in Athens hospital

Power outage in Athens has destroyed sixty-six doses of vaccines against Covid-19 in Dromokaitio hospital in Athens. The 66 doses correspond to 11 vials containing the precious liquid against the pandemic.

The damage was initially reported by the president of Hospital Workers Union (POEDIN) Michalis Giannakos. Speaking to Skai T on Monday morning, Giannakos said that although the generator in the hospital pharmacy where the vaccines were stored operated, there was damage in the (electricity?) panel resulting in the damage of the vaccines.

It is not known whether the vaccines were from Pfizer that require extremely low temperatures for storage and whether they were stored in specific refrigerator..

According to media information, the vaccines were scheduled for Monday and for ordinary citizens – currently those over 80s – and not for hospital patients.

The Health Ministry confirmed the damage saying in a statement that the hospital will be supplied with new vaccines and would give more information at the briefing on Monday evening.

It is the second time that vaccines are destroyed due to some damage in their storage.

Last week, 213 doses of vaccines stored in the health center of Ioannina, Epirus, were destroyed, due to a refrigerator damage.

According to General Secretary for Primary Health Care Marios Themistokleous, “due to failure in the temperature recorder of a vaccines storage refrigerator, 36 vials kept in the specific refrigerator were withdrawn for security reasons.”

PS There two things happening here:

  1. Greece has a problem with maintenance in public facilities (a notorious problem)
  2. Health authorities have not heard yet of other countries and their Plan B to immediately inoculate volunteers at the spot and off the official lists if conditions (weather, electricity etc) were to destroy the vaccines.

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3 comments

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/01/30/seattle-coronavirus-vaccine-overnight/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/us/oregon-vaccine-stuck-in-the-snow-drivers.html

    Here are two such examples (there are more) of emergency vaccine distribution. Perhaps someone with better connections can forward similar such articles to relevant health authorities? This is one of my biggest concerns with Greece’s vaccine rollout…

  2. How hard is it to monitor temperatures in a fridge with such an important vaccine.
    The rate of vaccinating is so slow and to lose vaccines in this way is totally irresponsible.
    Monitoring the temperature should be automatic.
    It is called back up and forward thinking !

  3. Maybe they should call „good friends“ with Fakelaki like here on Zakynthos – even when the vaccine is not in danger to get lost because of insufficient cooling 😉