21 COVID-19 vaccine shipments, including to Ottawa Co., unusable – WOODTV.com

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials say some 1,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine showed up in Ottawa County spoiled.

It was among 21 shipments of the Moderna vaccine that went out Sunday and arrived at their destinations with temperature monitoring devices showing doses had gotten too cold to use, the state said. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services did not list all intended destinations.

“In total,  it was 11,900 doses of the vaccine,” MDHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin said about the spoiled shipments. “None of it was used on any individual, so no shots in arms.”

The Ottawa County Health Department confirmed they were among the Michigan facilities affected by the shipping mishap. 

“It’s heartbreaking,” Ottawa County Health Department spokesperson Kristina Wieghmink told News 8 Tuesday. “We’re receiving already a very limited supply of vaccine, so to see this amount not being able to use is frustrating.”

No appointments were affected as Ottawa County, like many other local health departments and hospitals, is not scheduling appointments before it has the doses. Problems like this, Wieghmink said, are why.

“(It’s) important that people note that while this is disappointing, we are glad these checks and monitors in place so we can make sure vaccines are effective,” she said. “(This is also a) testimony to how difficult the logistics of getting vaccines into arms can be.”

This was Ottawa County’s first shipment from Moderna. All its vaccines up to this point have been from Pfizer; those doses are being manufactured in Portage.

Replacement shipments for most of the 21 recipients, including Ottawa County, were expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. Six shipments were held back to confirm they were safe.

MDHHS added that the health care distribution company that facilitates shipments, McKesson, is working to find the cause of the problem.

A spokesperson with the Kent County Health Department confirmed to News 8 they also received their first shipment of the Moderna vaccine this week but said all of their doses arrived at the proper temperature, ready to be administered. 

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