The Ohio Health Department has announced that nearly 900 doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, meant to be distributed to eight long-term care facilities, were compromised after not being stored properly.
SpecialtyRX, a vaccine provider in Columbus, was given 1,500 doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, according to the ODH, but after their first distribution of doses, 890 remained.
“The company was exploring a transfer of the doses to another provider when it was discovered that they had failed to appropriately monitor temperatures in their refrigerator and freezer,” the ODH announced on Wednesday.
The cold storage temperatures vaccines are kept in are meant to be recorded each workday, but the provider reportedly failed to do so, rendering 890 doses likely unusable. The doses have been ordered to be quarantined and kept in place until an investigation has concluded. The ODH has requested the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy open an immediate investigation into the alleged mishandling.
Future allocations of the vaccine have been halted to SpecialtyRX.
The long-term care facilities that were waiting on the second round of vaccine doses will need to coordinate with another provider, likely through local health departments, now that these hundreds of doses are likely to be tossed.
The Moderna vaccine can be stored between two and eight degrees Celsius (36°F and 46°F) for up to 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During delivery, the vaccine must be kept between -25 and -15 degrees Celsius (-13°F and 5°F).
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