NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Editor's Note: The video above previously aired on Feb. 17, 2022.
An independent investigation into what led up to the improper storage of more than 650 doses of Pfizer vaccines handled by the New Haven Health Department has been completed.
The third-party group New Light Investigations submitted the 45-page report, with over 400 pages of exhibitions, to the city of New Haven, which released the report Thursday.
The report concluded there was ineffective communication from former Director of Public Health Nursing Stacey Hutcherson to the staff regarding vaccine management duties, storage, and handling, which played a big factor in causing the temperature excursions. A clear transition plan for managing the vaccines was also not established following an employee's resignation, the investigation found.
Hutcherson's individual and overall performance was also a factor, including overworked staff, staff shortages, and quick-changing information and protocols during the pandemic, the report found.
"Our investigation also found that the New Haven Health Department identified the operational deficits and errors in an expedient manner," the investigation report states. "We also determined that the NHHD and Mayor’s Office immediately notified the public upon identifying all of [the] affected patients and receiving revaccination guidance from Pfizer Medical on February 11, 2022."
Full investigation report below. If it appears too small, click the + to zoom in, and use the sidebar on the bottom to shift the PDF into view.
The facts reported in the city health department's initial internal review were verified, and interviewees, including Hutcherson, Deputy Director Brooke Logan and Public Health Director Maritza Bond, were cooperative with the third-party investigation, officials said.
“We promised accountability, transparency and a full and thorough investigation into this incident, and the City’s internal investigation and New Light Investigation’s independent investigation deliver on this commitment,” said Mayor Justin Elicker. “It is truly unfortunate this incident occurred, and we apologize for the inconvenience that it caused to patients. We owed it to them to get to the bottom of this issue, to identify what went wrong, and to take corrective action to help ensure it doesn’t happen again -- and, as this report outlines, that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
The incident was first identified in February 2022. Around 656 doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine were stored in freezing temperatures longer than was recommended and then administered to 625 or so patients.
Those who were administered the improperly stored vaccines were notified and encouraged to get revaccinated since it was uncertain whether the improper storage would reduce the vaccine's efficacy.
Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at email@example.com
HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS
Download the FOX61 News APP
iTunes: Click here to download
Google Play: Click here to download
Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.
Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.