WILMINGTON — The local health commissioner asked county commissioners for a lower lease amount as her agency waits to hear how much an insurer will cover on $26,000 worth of unusable vaccine.
Almost $99,000 in vaccine could no longer be administered after a spring Saturday storm knocked out power in the Annex Building where the Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) is housed. The vaccine is kept in refrigeration there for the department’s immunization clinics.
Part of the vaccine had been supplied by the Ohio Department of Health to the local department, and “it doesn’t sound like they’re going to charge us to replace that,” Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer said after meeting with commissioners.
But the other vaccine that went bad was donated by GuardCare and that costs about $26,000 to replace, she said.
A claim was filed with the CCHD’s liability insurance company and the negotiations continue, according to Bauer.
The vaccine has to be replaced, she said, and what isn’t covered by the insurer will have to come out of the health department’s general fund, she said.
County commissioners took no action on the request for a lower lease because one of them, Patrick Haley, was absent, and Commissioner Mike Curry said Haley should have a chance to weigh in on the decision.
The power failure occurred on a Saturday in May and when the director of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Division of the health department went to the office that Sunday evening, alarms were sounding, said Bauer.
Any time the temperature goes up or down in the refrigeration space, there is supposed to be an automatic phone call made to health department staff. But the telephone line is connected to the Internet and it failed also and there was no phone notification, Bauer said.
The refrigerated vaccine was all lost, but the frozen vaccine in the freezer was still acceptable for use, she said.
County government staff is in the final stages of seeking to acquire a backup power generator for the Annex Building, County Administrator Mary Ann Foland said Monday.
In discussing the matter, officials have determined there probably is a need to power more of the building than the health department only, said Foland.
It would be helpful to “flex” space in the Annex on South Nelson Avenue — specifically, the community room — to serve as a place for an alternate emergency operations center, Foland said. The Office of the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency is located within the sheriff’s office facility on Davids Drive.
An electrician is determining the generator capacity that will be needed to power both the health department and the community room if it were utilized as an alternate emergency operations center, the county administrator said.
In other news from the county commissioners session:
• The Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office plans to purchase a $1,875 laptop for a drug trafficking trial scheduled for late September.
• Commissioners renewed the employees dental plan with Superior Dental Care.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.