Michigan has just confronted one of the main problems during a vaccine rollout - transportation. Almost 12,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine went to waste after temperatures were not maintained during transport, resulting in a delay in vaccinations in Michigan.
A statement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services revealed that it was notified by McKesson Corp., the company distributing the vaccines, that the vaccine shipments that were transported on Sunday experienced temperatures going out of range. The report stated that the temperatures had gotten too cold.
Every vaccine shipment has a temperature monitoring device that monitors the temperature of the vaccine while it is being transported.
Detroit News noted that the spokeswoman for the state's health department, Lynn Sutfin, said in an email Tuesday, that there were 11,900 doses that were in the shipment.
The health department also stated that McKesson is working quickly to repack more vaccines to be shipped out, which will be replacement doses for those that were compromised.
David Matthews, McKesson's representative, revealed that the root cause of the issue was that a number of gel packs that were used to maintain the temperatures of the vaccines during shipping were too cold. The company, having figured this out, assured the public that it would be taking steps to prevent the same thing from happening again in the future.
Matthews also said that it is unfortunate because the vaccines will not be used anymore. On the other hand, they are pleased knowing that the safeguards that were put in place to ensure integrity worked.
The almost 12,000 vaccines were the first ones reported as compromised due to shipment issues. Michigan health officials have revealed that the company has already repacked and shipped out replacement doses on Monday and Tuesday.
FoxNews reported that the Moderna vaccine is stable at a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius. However, it must not be stored beyond minus 40 degrees Celsius. If the vaccine is refrigerated, it can last for 30 days at a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius. The vials cannot be refrozen once they are thawed.
In Tuesday's briefing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan's governor, expressed her frustration over the incident. She said that every vaccine matters but what happened to the vaccine was something that was not within her control nor was it the fault of the state.