More than 100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been thrown out due to a storage error at a Melbourne aged care centre.
More than 100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been thrown out due to a storage error at a Melbourne aged care centre.

Government faces another vaccine bungle

More than 120 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been discarded after a storage error at a Melbourne aged care centre.

Aspen Medical confirmed doses at the St Vincent's Care Services Aged Care Centre in west Melbourne had potentially been compromised due to the storage issue.

A statement from the Health Department said 25 multi-dose vials were discarded out of an "abundance of caution".

"While refrigeration was maintained, it was not possible to verify that temperature was maintained throughout," it said in a statement.

"A medical decision was made not to use the remaining vials."

The Pfizer vaccine must be stored between 2-8C for up to five days.

The statement thanked an Aspen worker who had "responded resourcefully and took action to ensure both use of the vaccines and protection of the integrity of the unused vials".

The statement said the loss rate of doses, which was 0.15 per cent, had been "far lower" than expected.

It is the second vaccination bungle in less than a week since Australia's rollout began, after two elderly vaccine recipients were given four times the recommended dosage in Queensland this week.

It was subsequently revealed the doctor, employed by Healthcare Australia (HCA), had not completed required online training before administering the doses.

Neither recipient, a 94-year old woman and an 88-year old man, suffered ill effects from the bungle.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Thursday the amount received by the pair was similar to some administered during clinical trials.

But HCA CEO Jason Cartwright stood aside on Thursday with the government enraged by the company's failure.

More to come.

Originally published as Government faces another vaccine bungle


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