A police probe is under way into an incident where a malfunction was discovered at one of the cold rooms at the pharmaceutical warehouse operated by the National Health Fund (NHF) to store vaccines.
The NHT disclosed today that the incident occurred on December 24, 2021, and thousands of vaccine doses were affected.
It was quick to point out that the fund immediately suspended the distribution of the vaccines that were stored in the affected cold room.
However, the NHF advised that there are approximately 500,000 doses of COVID vaccines available to continue Jamaica's COVID vaccination programme.
It noted that these vaccines were stored in another of the cold rooms operated at the warehouse.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness was briefed on the incident and is being provided with updated reports, the NHF informed.
Additionally, the NHF says contact was made with relevant health organisations and medical experts to provide advice on the efficacy of the vaccines involved, in order to make a determination on their use.
The fund's board has also requested the professional services of the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent investigation into whether management followed the standard operating procedures for temperature monitoring of cold rooms at warehouse, upon being alerted of the temperature irregularity.
It was noted that full restoration of the affected cold room was completed and it is fully operational and functioning normally.
The NHF says additional measures were also instituted in order to minimise the chances of a recurrence and to reduce the risks associated with the warehousing of pharmaceuticals requiring cold storage.