500 vaccine doses discarded at clinic due to ‘human error’

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A pharmacist holds a bottle of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox, Mass., Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Health care workers and patients at nursing homes are part of the first phase of the introduction of the vaccine. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Clinicians had to discard about 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine after vials were kept unrefrigerated for too long at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton.

Advocate Aurora Health officials said someone removed 50 vials from a refrigerator to access other items and failed to put them back overnight Friday. Each vial contained 10 doses of vaccine.

The Journal Sentinel reports an internal investigation found the failure was an “unintended human error.”

Clinicians were still able to administer some of the vaccine from the vials within the allowable 12 hour post-refrigeration window but had to discard most of it. Once the vaccine is thawed, it cannot be refrozen.

Advocate Aurora Health says it has vaccinated about 17,000 of its employees in the last 12 days.

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