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1,900 doses of Moderna vaccine destroyed after cleaner unplugs freezer in Boston

ABC News logo ABC News 1/23/2021
a close up of a bottle: FILE A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a local clinic as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in Aschaffenburg, Germany, Jan. 15, 2021. © Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters FILE A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a local clinic as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in Aschaffenburg, Germany, Jan. 15, 2021.

Thousands of doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine were destroyed after a cleaner in Boston accidentally unplugged the freezer in which they were being stored.

"On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, VA Boston Pharmacy staff discovered that a freezer at the Jamaica Plain campus failed. As a result, 1,900 doses of the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine stored in the freezer were compromised," Kyle Toto, the public affairs specialist at VA Boston Healthcare System, said in a statement Thursday.

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The Moderna vaccine doses arrive at their designated facilities frozen between -13 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can then be kept frozen or stored in a refrigerator at between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit, for up to 30 days before vials are punctured.

a close up of a bottle: FILE A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a local clinic as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in Aschaffenburg, Germany, Jan. 15, 2021. © Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters FILE A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a local clinic as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in Aschaffenburg, Germany, Jan. 15, 2021.

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Toto said, the freezer at the Boston pharmacy "was in a secure location and had an alarm system installed. The plug was found loose after a contractor accidentally removed it while cleaning."

He said they are investigating why the incident occurred and why the alarm system did not work as it was supposed to. 

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"Replenishment doses are in process and we do not foresee disruption of our vaccination effort," Toto added.

ABC News' Kendall Coughlin contributed to this report.

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