34 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine expired before use, Milwaukee Health Department says

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Thirty-four doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine expired before they could be used by the Milwaukee Health Department Monday, March 1.

In a statement released Tuesday, the department said more syringes had been prepared with vaccine than individuals who arrived for vaccination at the Wisconsin Center Monday.

The department says the situation was complicated by instruction to give only Pfizer vaccines to teachers vaccinated on Monday. They say a number of teachers scheduled appointments on Monday without identifying themselves as teachers until arriving at the site.

Health department officials rushed to identify unscheduled, eligible vaccination candidates in the hours leading up to the vaccine expiration, according to the statement, reducing potential waste from 140 vaccine doses to the 34 that did expire.

This is the first time any vaccine has expired and gone unused by the Milwaukee Health Department. 

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett addressed the incident Wednesday, March 3.  

"The 34 that were wasted on Monday come to .00136 of the total amount of vaccines that have been given to the city of Milwaukee," he said. 

Barrett stressed that the health department has done a tremendous job vaccinating those who need it. 

The department says "no intentional or malicious action was involved." The incident is under review.

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