SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - About 130 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were thrown out at Pam Specialty Hospital of Shreveport North in January.
A hospital representative told KSLA the doses were delivered completely thawed and Moderna was not clear in its communication.
“Rather than just taking the box, [the pharmacy team] opened it to make sure every vial was, in fact, frozen. It was not,” said Adam Burick, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Post Acute Medical.
According to the Moderna website, the vaccine is supposed to be stored between -13 and 5 degrees.
During Gov. John Bel Edwards’ COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Dr. Joseph Kanter brought attention to the issue of wasting vaccine doses.
“Within the past week or two, we’ve lost 133 doses,” he said. “This was at a hospital in the Shreveport area due to a temperature mismanagement issue and then, miscommunication.”
Kanter said the state has lost about 540 doses of the vaccine.
“All are honest human error,” he said.
Burick said Moderna was giving mixed information about the expiration and validity of the doses after arriving thawed out.
“They explained that there was no issue with the vaccine and the original expiration date of May 11, 2021 was valid. We again asked for that in writing,” said Burick.
However, once the hospital finally received a written statement after several requests, it did not match the information they got over the phone, according to Burick.
“That written report contradicted what they told us...that the vaccines expired Jan. 26, 2021.”
He said the hospital was previously told to follow the May expiration date printed on the vials. He says he recalled getting the written statement with the updated expiration date two days after that January date, thus making all the remaining doses void.
The hospital was able to vaccinate its frontline workers, according to Burick, but they only used about 70 of the doses in total.