165 doses of COVID-19 vaccine thrown out because of power outage at Colorado medical center

High winds caused a power outage in Colorado overnight on Thursday, affecting a supply of COVID-19 vaccines, CBS Denver reports. The outage affected a refrigerator at Kaiser Permanente Lakewood Medical Office, which temporarily stopped working.

Since the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is supposed to be kept at a cold temperature, 165 doses inside the broken fridge had to be thrown out.

However, Kaiser Permanente staff administered as many doses as they could, quickly vaccinating staff, physicians and members of the medical center, CBS Denver reports. They were able to use 135 of the doses kept in the fridge. 

The Moderna vaccine manufacturer said the administer doses were still safe to use according to CBS Denver.  

Power at the Kaiser Permanente Lakewood Medical Office has been restored and the fridge is working properly.

Earlier this month, a similar situation occurred at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Ukiah, California. The freezer holding the entire allotment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Northern California’s Mendocino County suffered a power outage, forcing officials to distribute all 830 doses on an emergency basis before the vaccine thawed, which would have made it ineffective.

Vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer are currently being distributed in the U.S. The Moderna vaccine has been shown more than 94% effective, similar to the one made by Pfizer.

Both vaccines require two doses, but unlike Pfizer’s, which must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures, Moderna’s can be kept at standard freezer temperatures.

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