COVID-19: Springfield Hospital cancels vaccination clinic, may have to toss 860 doses for improper storage

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/27/2021 9:43:57 PM
Modified: 1/27/2021 9:43:56 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Springfield Hospital canceled a COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for Wednesday morning after a monitor belonging to the state found that 860 doses of Moderna vaccine had been kept slightly above the acceptable temperature range.

The clinic, which was to include about 240 people, was canceled out of an “abundance of caution,” according to a Springfield Hospital Facebook post on Wednesday.

After checking with the vaccine manufacturer, Vermont officials learned that the affected doses had to be “wasted” to prevent concerns about the viability of the vaccine after it was stored at 9 degrees Celsius, rather than 8 degrees, Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

“This is unfortunate because we’ve had minimal, I mean minimal, wasted doses in this state,” Smith said.

But later Wednesday, Health Department spokesperson Ben Truman said officials were still working with the manufacturer to determine if the doses were viable.

“At this time, we’re still seeking final guidance from the manufacturer on the potential loss of doses due to a temperature excursion,” he said in a statement.

Though two hospital monitors recorded the temperature within the acceptable range, hospital leaders consulted with state officials and “mutually agreed it was in the best interest of all to err on the side of caution putting patient safety first, and cancel the scheduled clinic while further investigation takes place,” the Facebook post from the hospital said.

Free rides to vaccination clinics

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Regional public transportation providers are offering free rides to Vermonters without another way to get to COVID-19 vaccination clinics, according to Senior Solutions, a Springfield-based social services agency.

The rides will be provided by regional public transportation providers using volunteer drivers in cars or vans and buses and will accommodate people with disabilities. The Vermont Public Transportation Association will bill the ride to the appropriate funding source, such as Medicaid or a special federal source for COVID-19.

The rides are available only to people who are not currently a COVID-19 risk. People who are COVID-19-positive, symptomatic or close contacts of people who’ve tested positive must be cleared for public transportation first.

Rides are subject to the availability of transportation resources, so 48 hours’ advance notice is suggested to ensure services will be available. People can request rides by calling 833-387-7200.

Mascoma High School sees more cases

CANAAN — Mascoma Valley Regional High School has two new cases in people who were out on quarantine, according to the superintendent.

The two new cases, announced Tuesday, are in family members, Mascoma Superintendent Amanda Isabelle said in an email. They were not related to another case announced on Jan. 19, she said.

Because the people were out on quarantine when they tested positive, no changes to the school’s operations were necessary, she said.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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