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Cleaning Goes Wrong, Ruining 1.9K Vaccine Doses

Alarm and monitoring system failed to warn anyone
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2021 2:20 PM CST

(Newser) – A freezer holding Moderna coronavirus vaccine was in a secure place at a VA pharmacy in Boston, with an alarm system activated. On Tuesday, ABC reports, employees realized the freezer wasn't working. "The plug was found loose after a contractor accidentally removed it while cleaning," said a spokesman for VA Boston Healthcare System. "As a result, 1,900 doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine stored in the freezer were compromised."

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Officials said they didn't expect the disaster to affect vaccination schedules. "Replenishment doses are in process," the spokesman said. An investigation has begun, per NBC, into why the freezer's alarm and monitoring system didn't alert anyone. The Moderna vaccine has to be kept cold, but temperatures that were too low destroyed a shipment of almost 12,000 doses on its way to Michigan this month, per NBC. (A freezer failure in California left a hospital two hours to administer its vaccine.)

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