COVID-19 vaccine delivered to Townsville nursing home in ‘error’, Health Department admits

By Hannah Kotaidis

A Townsville nursing home has been ordered to return its supply of the coronavirus vaccine after it was delivered to the facility by mistake.

Residents at the Loreto Nursing Home in Pimlico were scheduled to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on March 29, but on March 25 staff were told their in-house clinic wouldn’t being going ahead because it could not be guaranteed the vaccine would arrive in time.

But the home’s director of nursing, Michelle Yanner, said a supply of the vaccine was delivered by couriers on March 29 as initially planned.

“I asked the driver to wait while I phoned the department,” Ms Yanner said.

“At that stage I thought maybe our vaccinations were going to go ahead.”

Ms Yanner was unable to get through to the Department of Health, the Vaccine Operations Centre, or the provider via phone and the delivery driver was eventually instructed by his management to take the vaccines and leave the facility.

In a statement, the Department of Health confirmed the vaccines were delivered to the aged care facility early due to an “error” in the ordering system.

“Due to the complex cold chain logistics of this vaccine, they have been returned and a vaccine delivery will occur on their scheduled vaccine date,” it said.

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