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Vaccines stored at Ghent Vaccination Centre during power cut declared safe

The Medicines’ Agency has declared the coronavirus vaccines that were being stored at the vaccination centre at Flanders Expo in Ghent (East Flanders) to be safe for use. As we reported earlier a power cut at the centre on Thursday night meant the refrigeration facilities in which the vaccines were being stored were out of order for several hours. 

It had been feared that this could have rendered the vaccines unfit for use. However, tests carried out by the Medicines Agency have given the vaccines the all clear and not a single dose will have to be thrown away. 

The Federal Medicines’ and Medical Products Agency (FAGG) examined all 3,740 vials of the vaccine. All were found to be safe for use. Earlier the city authorities in Ghent had said that possibly between 20,000 and 50,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine might have been unfit for use. However, this is not the case. 

Technical fault

The woman in charge of vaccinations at the centre Frija De Smet told VRT News that the electricity supply issues were caused by a technical fault. “Either the system was overloaded or there was a short circuit that caused the power supply to trip in order to prevent a fire. This is a good thing, but it caused a power outage. The fridges are back up and running again now”.

An emergency generator at the centre failed to start, leaving the refrigeration facilities at the centre without power for several hours.

Those with an appointment for a vaccination between 8am and 10am on Friday morning saw their appointments cancelled as it wasn’t clear whether the vaccines that had been stored overnight could be used. Around 400 people rescheduled their appointments to later in the day. Around 100 others will get their jabs at a later date. 

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