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4,400 doses of Moderna vaccine exceeded temperature requirements during shipment to Maine

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah said his agency received reports Monday from recipients of Moderna vaccine shipments that a tracking thermometer indicated the vaccine had exceeded the allowable temperature.
Co-owner of Bangor Drug Company, Charles Quellette, holds up a box of doses of Moderna's...
Co-owner of Bangor Drug Company, Charles Quellette, holds up a box of doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. (FILE)(WABI)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 3:10 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - More than 4,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine exceeded temperature requirements during their shipment to Maine, state health officials said Tuesday.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah said his agency received reports Monday from recipients of Moderna vaccine shipments that a tracking thermometer indicated the vaccine had exceeded the allowable temperature.

Shah said his agency reached out to all recipients and asked them to check their shipments. He said 35 of 50 recipients indicated problems with their shipments.

The Moderna vaccine requires the doses be shipped within a tight temperature range to ensure their safety, and shipments contain an electronic device that monitors the temperature during the shipment process.

Shah said this issue affected 4,400 doses. He said the Maine CDC notified Operation Warp Speed and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

”Our goal among all of this is to make sure that vaccine that comes into the state is safe, effective, and viable, before it goes into any arms. It’s always unfortunate when logistical issues of this nature crop up, but it’s also good to remember that the system has these safeguards in place so that if they happen, we know about them immediately,” says Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah.

He said Maine was not the only state affected and Operation Warp Speed is investigating what happened.

Shah said Operation Warp Speed was sending replacement doses to Maine Tuesday and Wednesday.

Shah said the affected doses were separated to ensure they were not used.

The cause of the issue and where it happened in the shipment process are under investigation, Shah said.

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