Bavaria transported vaccine in unsuitable camping cool boxes
| Reading time: 2 minutes
More than 1000 vaccination doses were not properly cooled when the vaccination started after Christmas in Upper Franconia. Doctors therefore refused to give it. The Bavarian Ministry of Health, which had procured unlicensed cool boxes, was responsible.
I.In Bavaria, cool boxes were used to transport the Biontech vaccine, which were not suitable for this. This led to breakdowns in the cooling of more than 1000 vaccine doses. This is reported by the “Spiegel”. According to this, the Bavarian Ministry of Health only confirmed the use of 93 unqualified cool boxes after multiple inquiries. A total of 305 were procured.
In Kulmbach in Upper Franconia and other Bavarian districts, doctors and district administrators refused to administer the vaccine doses when the vaccination started after Christmas because measuring devices showed temperatures outside the permitted range of two to eight degrees. The Bavarian Ministry of Health was responsible for providing the transport boxes.
Experts used photos to find out that these were cool boxes from the Swedish manufacturer Dometic, which are primarily intended to keep drinks and food cool in everyday use and can be connected to the cigarette lighter of a car – so they are unsuitable for transporting medicines.
According to the report, the Bavarian Ministry of Health under Melanie Huml (CSU) confirmed the use of the Swedish cool boxes. “A transport container that is used at times bears the trade name ‘Dometic Coolfreeze CF 11 medicine cooler’,” said a spokesman. The boxes are only intended for short transport between vaccination centers and old people’s and nursing homes, he emphasized. There are no regulations on the transport containers.
The manufacturer contradicts this: “This product was not created for the transport of pharmaceuticals.” A medical doctor from Upper Franconia previously described the cool boxes as “normal camping boxes”. In retail, they cost around 500 euros each and thus only around a seventh of what EU-licensed drug transport boxes cost. Corresponding certificates can cost 200,000 euros and are awarded to pharmaceutical logistics companies in accordance with internationally specified standards and sufficient tests. Dometic made it clear that it does not hold this license.
The Bavarian Ministry of Health said that the camping cool boxes were not intended for transporting the vaccines from the vaccine stores to the vaccination centers. For this there is its own transport and cooling technology that a logistics service provider takes over.
But with the very first deliveries on December 26th and 28th, Bavaria received very little vaccine. The service provider could not take over the division and transport. For this reason, the camping cool boxes were used “unscheduled” in the supra-regional distribution of the vaccine, said the spokesman. The correct temperature was always checked.
According to the ministry, the breakdowns during the transport and cooling of the vaccine in Upper Franconia and Swabia were caused by handling errors. “According to all available information, the cool boxes themselves worked flawlessly,” it said.