Ashtabula Walgreens Gave More Than A Dozen Faulty Vaccines

The damaged vaccine issue was originally thought to only affect five long-term care facilities but ideastream has learned that some 13 people were also given faulty vaccines in Walgreen stores. [Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock]
The damaged vaccine issue was originally thought to only affect five long-term care facilities but ideastream has learned that some 13 people were also given faulty vaccines in Walgreen stores. [Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock]
Featured Audio

A  73-year-old married couple from Akron and several others received faulty vaccines at an Ashtabula Walgreens store on Feb. 1 and will have to retake the shots, ideastream has learned.

The couple, who asked to remain anonymous, reached out to ideastream after hearing on Feb. 2 that residents at several local nursing homes in the area were given vaccines that may be ineffective due to improper storage.

Walgreens officials confirmed that the couple received vaccine doses that were left over from those given out at one of the affected long-term care facilities.  

Some of the vaccine doses, which were not stored at the proper temperature, were distributed at nursing homes and at vaccine clinics at two Walgreens stores in Northeast Ohio.

"In the process of accounting for all doses that were subject to the improper storage, we determined that 13 doses had been returned to two of our stores following the clinics," Walgreens officials said in an email.

"Consistent with our policy to not waste any vaccines, these doses were administered to 12 individuals 70 years old or above, and one individual who was 65. We notified the state of this last night, and all 13 individuals have been contacted directly, and all are scheduled to be re-vaccinated in the next five days," officials said in the email.

The Akron couple was originally scheduled to receive vaccines on Feb. 3 at a Walgreens store, 318 W. Prospect Rd. in Ashtabula, but received a call from the pharmacy on Monday letting them know they could get the vaccine that day.

They drove more than 75 miles one way to get the vaccine but found out the next day it was improperly stored, and they would have to get another shot.

They plan to drive back to Ashtabula again on Feb. 4 to retake the new “first” dose.

ideastream reported Tuesday that several long-term care facility residents were also given damaged COVID-19 vaccine from Walgreens.

Patients at five congregate living facilities in Northeast Ohio will have to repeat their COVID-19 vaccinations after Walgreens informed the state Tuesday that some doses were not stored at the proper temperature, Gov. Mike DeWine said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The affected nursing facilities are:

  • The Maples/Ashtabula County Residential Services Corporation
  • Ashtabula Towers
  • Heather Hill Care Communities in Chardon
  • Six Chimneys in Cleveland
  • Willow Park Convalescent Home in Cleveland

"Vaccines were given – and there is no harm to anyone – but these vaccinations will have to be done again," DeWine said. “The problem did not arise at the nursing home is my understanding. My understanding, this problem arose someplace else whenever they were getting the doses.”

Fraser Engerman, a Walgreens spokesman, said, “We sometimes will end up with additional doses because, for whatever reason, the long-term care facility did not need the amount that we thought they did."

Engerman said when that happens, they reallocate the doses to people who are eligible under the state’s requirements.

Walgreens officials would not give the exact locations of the stores where the faulty vaccines were administered.

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
Schedule
Donate
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.