Several Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipments compromised after getting too cold, state says

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was notified by medical distribution service McKesson that several shipments of the Moderna vaccine shipped on Sunday, Jan. 17, had their temperature reported as going out of range and getting too cold. 

McKesson said the cause of this, which impacted at least 21 shipments is under investigation, according to the state.

The state said in a release that each vaccine shipment is equipped with a temperature monitoring device used to monitor the vaccine temperature while in transport. McKesson is working quickly to repack additional vaccine to ship out as replacement doses for those that may be compromised and the majority of the 21 shipments were resent on Monday night with the rest being sent Tuesday.

 An additional six shipments were held back to check that there were no issues with the vaccine which may delay scheduled vaccinations at those six vaccine provider sites.

Wayne County recently announced it was switching vaccine types and will administer 5,500 doses of the Moderna treatment after its supply of available doses ran dry.

"We are committed to accelerating vaccine delivery as we work to reach our goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16 as quickly as possible with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. "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. This is the first report of vaccine potentially being compromised during shipment in Michigan and we are working quickly with the distributor to have replacement vaccine shipped out."

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are shipped to vaccine providers across the state by the manufacturers and distributors. No vaccine is shipped or distributed by MDHHS.