Several hundred doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine stored at Charter Oak Health Center in Hartford are still viable and safe to be administered after a safety door lock failed on a freezer containing them, according to Moderna.
The Department of Public Health said Friday that the doses may have been spoiled, but Moderna officials confirmed Saturday that they are safe to use.
DPH said the 600 doses were in a freezer that did not close properly and was left overnight on Friday, February 19. An alarm sounded when the internal temperature rose past the recommended level, but because of the overnight hours, no one heard the alarm.
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According to Charter Oak Health Center, there is a 12-hour window for such a temperature issue. When staff discovered the failure in the morning, they separated the affected doses and contacted DPH and Moderna for further instruction.
After conducting an investigation, Moderna contacted DPH officials to inform them that the doses were stable and good to use through March 19, 2021.
DPH said Charter Oak Health Center completed a Corrective Action Plan which includes changes they will make to prevent the issue from occurring, including further staff training and a text-based notification system for the alarm.
“All of our vaccine providers have been very vigilant about ensuring that no vaccine doses are wasted and all shots get into people’s arms. Charter Oak did the right thing by immediately segregating these doses, contacting DPH and Moderna to determine if they would still be usable, and instituting new safeguards and policies to ensure this doesn’t happen again. I’m glad that we know now the doses are still effective and can be administered to individuals,” Acting DPH Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said in a statement.