CDC, state officials reassure vaccines administered before investigation were ‘stable and effective’

CDC investigation into Shelby County's vaccine storage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - WMC Action News 5 exclusively obtained a report from the CDC on storage and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Shelby County.

It is eight pages and spells out line by line what happened with vaccine storage at the Shelby County Health Department.

“We can confidently reassure all recipients of vaccines at Shelby County sites, the doses they received were stable and effective,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey.

Related | Investigation confirms Shelby County did not administer expired COVID-19 vaccine doses, state health commissioner says

The Investigators: CDC investigation finds all doses given were effective

Piercey made it clear people who got the COVID-19 vaccine between Dec. 28 and Feb. 24 will not have to be revaccinated.

The stability of more than 55,000 doses became a concern last month when the state learned the Shelby County Health Department let thousands of doses expire. The state started investigating and found it was more than 2,500.

The CDC was called in to help the state figure out what happened. Here are the CDC’s findings after a month long investigation:

  • The report findings show no vaccines from the pharmacy freezers and refrigerators went below the recommended temperature from the manufacturer.
  • The pharmacy staff kept the vaccines transported to vaccination sites at the right temperature.
  • The CDC did find what is called vaccine excursions meaning the temperature reading for the vaccine was outside the manufacturer’s recommendation.

But the CDC’s conclusion from the investigation: the vaccine was kept at appropriate ranges at the Shelby County Health Department as well as during transport to sites.

The CDC is not recommending revaccination of anyone who got a dose-finding there is sufficient evidence that the vaccine administered during that time period was kept at temperatures to maintain its stability.

CDC will continue to investigate Shelby County vaccine programs

All a relief to the state.

“The very worst thing we could imagine is having to deal with the possibility that the people who got the doses didn’t receive stable doses,” said Piercey.

CDC personnel have gone back to Atlanta and state health personnel are back in Nashville. Both organizations will remain in touch with Shelby County.

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