Ottawa County Health Dept. receives replacement vaccines after receiving spoiled shipment

Moderna Vaccine
Posted at 3:34 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 18:59:03-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — Health officials in Ottawa County have received replacement vaccines after learning around 1,600 of their doses were potentially spoiled.

21 shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine had their temperature go out of range and get too cold, spoiling the vaccine, after being shipped out on Sunday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

READ MORE: More than 20 shipments of COVID-19 vaccine affected by temperature issues

Ottawa County Department of Public Health confirmed they were one of the health department's to receive them.

"It caught us a little bit, and we were very disappointed and a little bit frustrated. We knew that it potentially left our community a week longer without getting some protection," said Ottawa County Department of Public Health Deputy Health Officer Marcia Mansaray.

21 shipments of the vaccine arrived to multiple destinations spoiled after the temperature in the shipping container got too cold to use.

Deputy Health Officer Marcia Mansaray said it's unfortunate with an already limited supply, but she was glad these checks and balances are in place.

"It is thrilling to me to know that everywhere along the supply chain, we are being careful to make sure that what is being sent from the factory is safe and effective," said Mansaray.

In total, 11,900 vaccine doses were affected, according to MDHHS.

“Although it is unfortunate that this vaccine will not be able to be used, we are pleased that the safeguards put into place to ensure the integrity of the vaccine worked," said MDHHS Chief Medical Executive & Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

No vaccine appointments were affected in Ottawa County, as they said they don't make booking available until the vaccine is in hand due to potential complications like this one.

"We don’t want to be calling people and canceling appointments. It is just easier to say as soon as we have the known quantity, we will make those appointments available," said Mansaray.

While Ottawa County has strictly been administering Pfizer's COVID vaccine, this was their first shipment from Moderna.

They said they have already received their replacement box of 1,600 vaccine doses, which is more than they have been receiving due to available supply.

"I believe the supply chain will work. If it doesn’t, we will learn from it and make it work. That is a national, state and local kind of issue. We all have to work together on that," said Mansaray.

MDHHS said the distributor, McKesson, is currently investigating the cause. The company has already repacked and shipped out additional vaccine replacement doses to their destinations.

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