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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

COVID Vaccines Mishandled In 5 NE Ohio Nursing Homes, DeWine Says

Courtesy Serum Institute of India

Some patients at five nursing homes in Northeast Ohio will have to repeat their COVID-19 vaccinations after Walgreens informed the state that some doses weren't stored at the right temperature, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday.

"Vaccines were given – and there is no harm to anyone – but these vaccinations will have to be done again," DeWine said.

At issue is the vaccines weren't kept at the appropriate temperature. DeWine said it wasn't the nursing homes' fault.

"(The vaccines) can be challenging to handle because they require ultra-cold storage until they are ready to handle," explained Ohio's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoof. "Otherwise, it can't be relied upon to be effective."

The affected nursing homes are:

  • The Maples/Ashtabula County Residential Services Corp
  • Ashtabula Towers
  • Heather Hill Care Communities
  • Six Chimneys
  • Willow Park Convalescent Home

Walgreens is working with the CDC and the nursing homes to determine which patients may need to be re-vaccinated.
"Patients don't need to do anything. The CDC and the nursing homes and Walgreens are working to identify any individuals who need the vaccine and get it in a timely manner," Dr. Vanderhoof said, adding there is a wait period before the shots can be given again.

DeWine said among the state's 645 assisted living facilities, 86% have received the first dose and 48% have been given the second shot.

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.