BOSTON — Nearly 2,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were spoiled at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Boston after a contractor accidentally unplugged a freezer, hospital officials announced Thursday.
Staff at the Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center discovered on Tuesday that a freezer had failed, compromising 1,900 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The plug to the freezer was found to be loose after a contractor accidentally unplugged it while cleaning, according to a statement from Kyle Toto, a spokesperson for VA Boston Healthcare System. The freezer had been in a safe location and had an alarm system, he said.
The system is investigating the cause of the incident and why the monitoring alarm system did not work. More doses are on the way, Toto said, and officials “do not foresee disruption” of the system’s vaccination effort.
Temperature issues have caused problems for vaccine rollouts in other states.
Nearly 12,000 Moderna doses that were being shipped to Michigan on Sunday were spoiled after getting too cold. In Wisconsin, a pharmacist faces charges after authorities say he deliberately ruined hundreds of doses by removing them from refrigeration for two nights.
The Moderna vaccine needs to be stored at regular freezer temperatures, but not the ultra-cold required for Pfizer-BioNTech’s shot.