21 shipments of Michigan’s Moderna COVID-19 vaccine get too cold during distribution

Additional 6 shipments held back to check for possible issues

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Michigan officials said 21 shipments of the state’s supply of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine got too cold during distribution.

UPDATE: Moderna doses that got too cold during shipment OK to use, state says

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced several shipments of the Moderna vaccine that were sent out Sunday (Jan. 17) went out of the recommended temperature range.

Health care company McKesson notified MDHHS about the issue. The cause of the temperature drop is under investigation by McKesson, state officials said.

Each shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine is equipped with a temperature monitoring device during transportation.

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McKesson is working to repack additional vaccine doses to ship out to replace the ones that might have been compromised, according to Michigan officials.

The majority of the 21 affected shipments were resent Monday night, with the rest sent out Tuesday, the state announced.

An additional six shipments were held back to make sure there weren’t any issues, officials said. That might delay some of the scheduled vaccinations at provider sites.

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“We are committed to accelerating vaccine delivery as we work to reach our goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 as quickly as possible with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “Although it is unfortunate that this vaccine will not be able to be used, we are pleased that the safeguards put into place to ensure the integrity of the vaccine worked. This is the first report of vaccine potentially being compromised during shipment in Michigan and we are working quickly with the distributor to have replacement vaccine shipped out.”

Vaccines are shipped to providers across the state by manufacturers and distributors. No vaccine is shipped or distributed by MDHHS, state officials said.

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