450 doses of Pfizer vaccine thrown away in UK after refrigerator problem
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450 doses of Pfizer vaccine thrown away in UK after refrigerator problem

Credit: Belga

An accidental power cut let to the disposal of several hundred doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Rotherham, England.

About 450 doses of vaccine had to be discarded following an “electrical problem” that affected a refrigerator in Rotherham’s Montgomery Hall, according to the British news agency PA.

Someone reportedly pulled the electric cable from the refrigerator in the evening, without meaning any harm. The next day, staff discovered that the fridge was at the wrong temperature and the vaccines were destroyed as a precaution.

The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine must be stored at -70°C. After defrosting, it can be stored for an additional five days in a normal refrigerator at a temperature between 2 and 8°C.

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The UK started its vaccination campaign on 8 December 2020 after becoming the first country to approve the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. The country later also approved the Moderna vaccine and the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine.

According to official figures, 9,646,715 people in the UK have received their first doses of vaccine, and 496,796 have had their second dose administered as of 1 February.

A total of 3,852,623 people have tested positive in the UK, and 112,660 people have died from the virus.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times