The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that the 8,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine they originally deemed unusable mid-January after a drop in temperature are still useable, according to a Monday press release from the Michigan State Police.
McKesson, a company that distributes medical supplies, shipped the doses in mid-January. The 8,900 doses were reported to have gone out of the temperature range and became too cold. After an internal investigation, McKesson concluded that the lowered temperature was due to the cold weather.
A new shipment of the Moderna vaccine was sent out within a day of learning that the original shipment of vaccines were out of the recommended temperature range, Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for MDHHS, said.
The vaccine was shipped to 19 counties including Ingham, Oakland and Wayne.
"Based on what they (McKesson) found and their discussions with the Moderna and CDC, it was determined that the vaccines were viable as long as they had been stored properly," Sutfin said.
Moderna reported the vaccine doses are still viable if they are either stored in quarantine at -20 C (-4 F) or stored in quarantine at 2-8 C (35-46 F) and refrigerated within 30 days.
The normal temperature range for the vaccine is between -25 C and -15 C (-13 F and 5 F). Before it is administered the vaccine can be thawed in the refrigerator between 2 C and 8 C (36 F and 46 F) for 2 hours and 30 minutes or at room temperature between 15 C and 25 C (59 F and 77 F) for 1 hour. The vaccine can be used within 30 days after it is removed from the freezer.
Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun confirmed that these doses will still be used to vaccinate.
“We are pleased we will be able to use these vaccines to protect Michiganders from the virus as we work to reach our goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 as quickly as possible with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” Khaldun said in the press release. “These safeguards are put into place to ensure the integrity of the vaccine and based on the investigation that was conducted, these vaccines can now be used.”
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