Officials said there is no risk for potential harm for the hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine recipients who received a potentially compromised dose after 80 vials were improperly handed "outside of the manufacturer’s recommended temperature range." The error, which was discovered at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center (KACC) at Fort Meade, Maryland, impacts approximately 800 doses that were distributed on two different dates earlier this month.
"Moderna and the Immunization Health Branch of the Defense Health Agency have reviewed the circumstances and have determined that there is no risk for potential harm to the individuals who received the affected doses," a news release posted by the Department of the Army, on Thursday, said. "The vaccines were administered to beneficiaries on 7th and 12th April at the McGill Training Center vaccination site located on the installation. Because it is uncertain if the previously administered doses will provide the expected protection, each impacted beneficiary is being offered a repeat dose."
Guidance for the Moderna vaccine states that unpunctured vials may be stored between -50 degrees Celsius and -15 degrees Celsius. The vials may be stored in the refrigerator between 2 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius for up to 30 days before vials are punctured. Thawed vaccine cannot be refrozen.
It was not clear what the storage error that occurred was, nor how it was identified, but officials said clinical staff immediately identified impacted recipients and began contacting them to inform them and schedule revaccinations.
Those who think they may have been impacted by the error are instructed to call (410) 212-4086.