Veterans, DOD employees might have to get a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot after vials of the Moderna vaccine found to be improperly stored at Fort Meade

12/29/2020 - U.S. Air Force Veteran Robert Aucoin, 78, discusses his COVID-19 vaccine dose with a nurse at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Dec. 29, 2020.

Heather Mongilio

The Capital, Annapolis, Md.

Department of Defense employees, veterans and members of the military community who received COVID-19 vaccines at Fort George G. Meade between April 7-12 will likely need to get a third dose after Kimbrough Ambulatory Center discovered vials of the Moderna vaccine were improperly stored.

12/29/2020 – U.S. Air Force Veteran Robert Aucoin, 78, discusses his COVID-19 vaccine dose with a nurse at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Dec. 29, 2020.

The vials of the vaccine were stored outside of the temperature range recommended by Moderna, which affects the viability, according to a statement from Kimbrough Ambulatory Center, the main medical facility at Fort Meade. The doses were administrated between April 7-12.

Due to the improper storage, Moderna and the Immunization Health Branch of the Defense Health Agency could not guarantee that the doses of the vaccine will provide full protection, according to the release. Those who received the shots are recommended to get another dose.

Kimbrough staff will be contacting those who received the doses that were improperly stored in order to answer any questions and schedule another shot appointment. There is no known risk for potential harm from receiving the improperly stored doses, according to the release.

The Moderna vaccine is one of the two vaccines currently being administrated in the United States, after the Food and Drug Administration paused production of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to rare blood clots that developed in six recipients. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses.

The Moderna vaccine needs to be stored between -58ºF to 5ºF in a freezer or between 36-46ºF if in a refrigerator, for up to 30 days, if the vials are unpunctured. Punctured vials can be stored for 12 hours in a refrigerator as long as the temperature is between 36-77ºF, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This story will be updated.

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