Records request related to COVID-19 vaccine doses

Rachana Pradhan filed this request with the Department of Health of Ohio.
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Completed

Communications

From: Rachana Pradhan


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Ohio Open Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

(1) any and all data on the number of wasted, spoiled or expired COVID-19 vaccine doses from 12/11/2020 to 01/26/2021 and (2) any and all data on the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered from 12/11/2020 to 01/26/2021.

Please note that I am a member of the news media as evidenced by my published work for Kaiser Health News at www.khn.org and this request is being made for news gathering purposes. Any questions should be routed to myself via email or by phone at 703-731-7918.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days.

Sincerely,

Rachana Pradhan

From: Department of Health

Attached is the information requested.

Please note that the Ohio Department of Health tracks vaccine as unusable, not wasted, when reported by state providers. There are circumstances such as the temperature of the vaccine being out of the acceptable range, accidents (like a vial breaking), damage or inappropriate temperature during transit to the provider, expiration, etc., that make the vaccine unusable. In some cases, vaccine has been classified as unusable as a result of an unavoidable situation. For example, it is not the provider’s fault if they receive a vaccine that is already damaged. However, since that inventory has to be accounted for, ODH has to track the vaccine for our records and classify it under that provider since it was shipped to them.

With nearly 2.5 million doses allocated to providers through the state as of Feb. 26, 2021, unusable doses reported by state providers make up about 0.1% of the doses administered – less than the CDC expectation of 5% of unusable doses. The figures above, and in the attached document, do not reflect doses allocated through the federal program.

It is important to note that some of the unusable doses are a result of the vaccine’s temperature being outside of the acceptable range. On Thursday, Feb. 24, Pfizer modified their storage requirements. This updated guidance now allows undiluted frozen vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine to be transported and stored at conventional temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for up to two weeks.

Alicia Shoults
Office of Public Affairs and Communications
Ohio Department of Health
www.odh.ohio.gov<http://www.odh.ohio.gov>

From: Rachana Pradhan

Thanks for your response, Alicia. Wanted to clarify one thing -- can you clarify the meaning of having a negative number in the not useable column? Just want to make sure we're interpreting properly.

From: Department of Health

The negative figure simply means the dose was unusable.
Thanks,

Alicia

From: Rachana Pradhan

Hi Alicia,

Thanks again for all the help with this records request. Clarifying that the following is accurate -- according to the attached PDF of unusable doses, there were 1,280 total as of 1/26?

From: Department of Health

The figure listed as “grand total” is a sum of all figures in that column, which includes some positive figures reported when providers were able to pull more than the standard number of doses from a vial.

The total sum of negative counts only (unusable doses), is 1,322 as of Jan. 26, 2021 on that sheet provided.

Alicia Shoults
Office of Public Affairs and Communications
Ohio Department of Health
www.odh.ohio.gov<http://www.odh.ohio.gov>

From: Rachana Pradhan

Thank you, does ODH have a view on which of those numbers you gave is more accurate? 1,322 vs. 1,280.

From: Department of Health

1,322 is the figure that reflects only unusable (negative) doses. The other figure is a sum that includes extra doses pulled from vials.

Alicia Shoults
Office of Public Affairs and Communications
Ohio Department of Health
www.odh.ohio.gov<http://www.odh.ohio.gov>

From: Rachana Pradhan

Thank you!

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