Michigan’s 8,900 Moderna vaccine doses that got too cold during shipment OK to use, state says

Officials determine vaccines still viable for use

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

The 8,900 doses of Michigan’s Moderna vaccine that got too cold during shipment have been deemed OK to use, state officials said.

On Jan. 19, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced several shipments of the Moderna vaccine that were sent out Jan. 17 left the recommended temperature range.

Health care company McKesson notified MDHHS about the issue. McKesson completed an internal investigation and determined the cause of the issue with those 21 shipments, officials said.

Based on information gathered during that investigation, Moderna has decided the doses were still viable upon arrival.

The doses are still useable because they were stored in quarantine at minus-20 degrees Celsius or were stored in quarantine at 2-8 degree Celsius and placed in refrigerated storage within 30 days, according to the state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated the doses can still be used to vaccinate Michiganders.

“We are pleased we will be able to use these vaccines to protect Michiganders from the virus 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. “These safeguards are put into place to ensure the integrity of the vaccine and, based on the investigation that was conducted, these vaccines can now be used.”

Vaccines are shipped to vaccine providers across the state by the manufacturers and distributors, not MDHHS. Each shipment is equipped with a temperature monitoring device during transportation.

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