In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilized in Topeka, USA. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilized in Topeka, USA. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox

Temperature-sensitive vaccine no longer viable after Jan. 18 event

A recent power outage did more than leave Tl’etinqox members in the dark.

In a memo shared by the Anaham Sage Health Clinic Facebook page Jan. 20, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) said it had come to their attention there was a break in the “cold chain” for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was being held in the community’s vaccine fridge.

The outage impacted 969 BC Hydro customers along Highway 20 from Lee’s Corner at Hanceville to Kleena Kleene after equipment was believed to have snagged a phone line, in turn, knocking the power line off the insulators on Monday, Jan 18.

“Vaccines are very sensitive to temperatures and must be held at certain temperatures to remain protective or usable “cold chain,” the FNHA memo stated.

“When the chain is broken, the vaccine may not work to provide protection and mRNA vaccines such as Moderna are especially sensitive to temperature.”

READ MORE: House parties, impending lockdown and loss: Tl’etinqox chief grapples with COVID-19 challenges

If the vaccine temperature is found to be out of range, additional steps are taken to ensure the vaccine is still OK to be used, FNHA noted.

Power was out at 10 p.m. and not restored until just before noon Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Although the proper temperature was returned as soon as possible, the manufacturer determined it not to be usable.

Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse, who was among the first to be vaccinated on Friday, Jan. 15 with front line and essential workers during a soft roll-out could not be reached for immediate comment prior to print press deadline Wednesday.

The power outage pushed a 14-day lockdown at Tl’etinqox from noon Wednesday, Jan. 20 to 6 p.m. after staff were unable to print out notices.

It is unknown how many vaccines were spoiled and if the Anaham Sage Health Clinic has back-up generators. FNHA said it remains committed to working work with Tl’etinqox leadership to hold another vaccine clinic as soon as vaccines are available.

Health centres at Xeni Gwet’in and Tsideldel confirmed their vaccines were not impacted and continue to be rolled out.

While BC Hydro continues to investigate the cause of the outage, community relations coordinator Dave Mosure said because there is active logging within the area, BC Hydro believes it is likely that a logging truck or a lowbed with machinery moving along the side of the road took the lines down and damaged the cross arms.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read