COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A press conference held Monday afternoon by a Colorado Springs clinic offered no answers about the state's investigation into its vaccine storage protocols and subsequent suspension as a vaccine provider.
On April 9, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment paused the administration of vaccines at Dr. Moma Health and Wellness Clinic over "irregularities in vaccine storage and handling."
The following week, the agency said the nearly 4,000 Coloradans who received a COVID-19 vaccine from the clinic would have to be re-vaccinated elsewhere, causing a lot of confusion and anger among those vaccinated.
CDPHE recommends people who got their first dose of the vaccine at the clinic get a new first dose 21 days after receiving the initial Pfizer dose or 28 days after receiving the initial Moderna dose. If you received the second dose from the clinic, the agency recommends getting a third and final dose 21 or 28 days after that second dose, depending on the manufacturer.
In the days following CDPHE's announcement, Sylvienash Moma went on social media and attempted to refute some of the claims made by the state against her clinic. Repeatedly, she mentioned a Monday press conference would address the allegations and answer her patients' concerns.
Instead, the press conference, which was hosted by a friend of Moma's, left people upset. It lasted only for a few minutes, and, in addition to not making Moma available to the media, speaker Elizabeth Higgins would not answer any questions about the claims, citing an ongoing investigation.
"We certainly sympathize with everyone directly or indirectly impacted by this situation, and it is our absolute duty to lessen pain whenever we can," Higgins said. "Dr. Moma is actively working with all agencies involved to resolve this situation. At a later date, we will be holding a larger press conference once the investigation is done."
A report from an El Paso County Public Health employee helps paint a picture about the state's concerns.
During an unannounced visit to the clinic after receiving calls and emails about the clinic, the employee, for example, says they did not see any vaccine fridges as maskless people prepared the shots for administration.
Moma responded to the allegation, and others, in her April 16 Facebook post: "They did not ask to see my temperature log, storage room, vaccination refrigerator, or where I was currently storing the vaccine.”
Additionally, the employee claims no one was observing those who had just been administered the vaccine.
CDPHE made the decision to suspend the clinic as a vaccine provider after its own investigation with the CDC.
People who claimed they were vaccinated at the clinic were quick to call the press conference a "joke" and shared they were "terrified for their health" because of the lack of answers.
No word yet when Moma plans to schedule another press conference, and it's unclear whether she will speak at that one.