By Patty Nieberg, The Associated Press/Report for America
A Colorado county public health report found a Colorado Springs vaccine clinic operating without proper temperature storage for vaccines or social distancing, as well as unmasked workers.
The Associated Press received the report on the Dr. Moma Health and Wellness Clinic by an El Paso County public health employee in response to a records request.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stopped vaccinations at the clinic after nearly 4,000 people got one or more dose of Pfizer or Moderna at the facility.
“None of the people in the room were wearing masks. On the desk there were several silver trays loaded with filled syringes in a pile and a bowl with vaccine in it,” the report states. “I did not see any temp logs or vaccine coolers/fridges. There were no labels on any of the syringes.”
The aesthetic day spa is called Dr. Moma Health and Wellness Clinic and run by Sylvienash Moma, who has a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, according to her website. That degree includes advanced training in nursing skills and disciplines.
The El Paso public health employee visited the clinic on April 9 after receiving phone calls and emails with concerns and complaints about the clinic and the vaccines administered there.
The employee described the clinic’s operations as “very confusing and chaotic” and added, “At one point I assisted with traffic control.”
The employee also noticed a lack of social distancing with each vaccine room having two to four vaccinators while patients sat right next to each other. Some 4-by-6-foot (1.2-by-1.8-meter) rooms had up to eight people in them, the report said.
The employee noted that several patient records showed “Dr. Moma” as the only vaccinator listed despite other employees giving vaccines on site.
Each provider goes through a formal enrollment process that is laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and must demonstrate capacity to meet all COVID-19 Vaccine Program requirements prior to becoming an approved vaccine provider, the state health department told The Associated Press.
The state health department verifies medical licenses with the Department of Regulatory Agencies before approving COVID-19 vaccine providers. When providers enroll, they certify by signature that they understand the required protocol and have the proper equipment for vaccine storage and handling, the department said.
“Dr. Moma met all minimum requirements for participation in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program and affirmed that her clinic would abide by the practices laid out in the program,” the department said.
Moma plans to speak at a 3 p.m. news conference on Monday, according to a Facebook post in a public group titled “Dr. Moma COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients.”
After consulting with the CDC, the Colorado health department released guidance saying that people who received one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at Dr. Moma Health and Wellness should should start their two-shot vaccination series over again.
Those who are unsure should wait at least 28 days before getting a new first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, with the follow-up shot 28 days later, the state health department said.
Nieberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.