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Vaccine Doses Tossed After 'Human Error'

They spent too long out of the fridge at Wisconsin clinic
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2020 11:27 AM CST

(Newser) – Some 500 doses of the precious Moderna coronavirus vaccine have been thrown out at a clinic in Wisconsin after an "unintended human error." Fifty vials, each containing 10 doses of vaccine, were removed from a refrigerator at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, some 20 miles north of Milwaukee, on Friday so a person could access other items within the fridge, according to a statement from Advocate Aurora Health, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The vials weren't returned to the fridge. The error was realized before 12 hours had passed, meaning some of the vaccine doses could still be administered. But the majority had to be discarded on Saturday, as the vaccine can't stand at room temperature for longer than that.

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The Moderna vaccine is shipped frozen, and once thawed, vials can be stored in the refrigerator (at temperatures between 36 degrees Fahrenheit and 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 30 days. "We are clearly disappointed and regret this happened," said officials at Advocate Aurora Health, which has vaccinated some 17,000 of its employees over the last two weeks, per the Journal Sentinel. Earlier this month, the Albuquerque Journal reported that a shipment of 75 doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine had to be discarded in New Mexico "after a digital device showed it overheated on transport to a hospital in Clayton." A spokesman for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said it was "probably a malfunction of the digital data logger." (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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