According to the report, about 2000 doses of Modern’s COVID-19 vaccine were damaged at a Boston VA facility, after a cleaning contractor accidentally loosened the plug of a freezer.
The shots were discovered by staff at the VA Boston Pharmacy on Tuesday. At least 1,900 doses were compromised, KAL Toto, VA Boston Healthcare System spokesman, told the Boston Globe.
“The contractor found the plug loose after being accidentally removed during cleaning,” Toto said.
He said that he did not think the dosed dose would affect the vaccine rollout, and told the newspaper that the replacement dose was already being delivered.
Modern COVID-19 vaccines – as well as doses developed by rival Pfizer-BioNotech – must be stored at very low temperatures, between negative 13 and negative 5 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain this temperature, storage facilities at Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center were equipped with the intention of triggering if the doses were too hot or too cold, although they did not sound when the freezer was unplugged.
Toto said he wasn’t sure why the alarm didn’t go off.
“An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident and the monitoring and alarm systems have not worked as expected,” he said.
According to the state’s Department of Public Health, Massachusetts has recorded a total of 462,910 coronavirus cases and 13,622 deaths from COVID-19 since the onset of the epidemic last year.