COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of Coloradans have waited a week with countless questions and very few answers after the state told them their first vaccine dose was useless because of the way it was handled at the clinic they visited in Colorado Springs. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment suspended the vaccine operation at the Dr. Moma Health and Wellness Clinic because they failed to properly document the temperature at which the vaccine was being stored.
“I had a funny feeling about it, too, but decided to go ahead with it just because there were so many people there waiting for their vaccinations. They were super nice. The staff was friendly. It just didn’t feel like a medical situation,” said Darcy Stricker who drove from the Denver area to finally get her first dose on April 6.READ MORE: With Face Masks No Longer Mandated For Those Who Are Vaccinated, Business Owners Navigate Uncertainty
A few days later, Stricker and many more people received an email from the state stating the storage was inadequate and their vaccine dose is likely ineffective.
“They said it affected almost 4,000 individuals and they canceled over 7,000 appointments,” Stricker said. “I’m nervous and angry, to be honest. I’m angry that they didn’t screen the medical clinic better. I don’t even know if they visited it, I don’t know what the application process is for these.”
Becca Tarnowski got her dose on April 7 and has been filled with questions for the past week.
“Dr. Moma isn’t saying anything. Colorado Department of Health isn’t answering our questions. We just want to know what actually was found. Were the needles clean? We are left wondering and it is causing an undue amount of anxiety and uncertainty. And if they would just share with us what they do know it would be appreciated. I feel like we are owed at least that,” Tarnowski said.
During a virtual event on Thursday, officials from CDPHE said the investigation was still active and couldn’t answer many specifics but reiterated much of the state’s vaccination effort has been safe. Millions of doses have been administered and this is the first issue of this kind to arise. CDPHE said it would increase inspections of vaccine providers moving forward.READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Governor's Office Lifts Face Mask Mandate For Those Who Are Vaccinated
A Facebook group has been gaining members this week where people share the limited information they have, ask questions, and sometimes vent about the situation.
“It’s just been really helpful to talk to other people who are in the same situation who felt like gosh my gut said I should go but I went anyway,” Tarnowski said.
Many people from all over Colorado went to the Colorado Springs clinic because getting an appointment was difficult elsewhere. Now they’re being told to wait a few more weeks and get vaccinated again. Fear is growing around what potentially three doses would mean.
“They haven’t done any testing on three shots,” Stricker said.
“I don’t feel great about being a Guinea pig for a third dose so close together. On top of that, not knowing if I’m getting a different vaccine, the second and third doses, because I don’t trust what they said I got,” Tarnowski said.MORE NEWS: COVID In Colorado: Excitement Builds As Children Ages 12-15 Begin To Get Pfizer Vaccine