Florida health officials call for audit after more than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses get spoiled

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday requested an audit after more than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses were spoiled in Palm Beach County.

Health officials want the Palm Beach County Health Care District to conduct a full accounting of all vaccine-related equipment and procedures to store and handle the vaccine.

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The request came after the district said last week about 1,160 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine spoiled after a refrigeration storage unit was unintentionally turned off.

Attempts to contact the district Wednesday for comment were not immediately successful. 

"It is a tragedy that even one dose of this critical resource would go to waste and not be used to save a life from COVID-19," state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

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"In Florida, we have been diligent to preserve and utilize every single dose of the vaccine. While we must rely on partners to distribute this critical resource, we expect that every provider treat the vaccine as the precious commodity that it is," Rivkees added. "We hope to see this situation rectified and addressed immediately to ensure the Palm Beach County Health Care District does not let one more dose go to waste."

The department called on the Health Care District of Palm Beach County to complete the audit by Feb. 12.