1,600 vaccinated within hours after freezer failure at Seattle clinic

After a freezer failed at a Kaiser Permanente clinic in Seattle, Wash., late the night of Jan. 28, the Oakland, Calif.-based health system rushed to administer more than a thousand Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses before they expired, The Seattle Times reported. 

The health system got help administering the doses from UW Medicine and Swedish Medical Center, both based in Seattle. Nurses, firefighters and volunteers all rushed to administer as many doses as possible before they expired at 5:30 a.m. Jan. 29, according to The Seattle Times. A Kaiser spokesperson didn't elaborate on how the freezer failed, the Times reported. 

The state health department instructed the health systems to prioritize eligible people first, then people who would soon be eligible, such as teachers and grocery store workers, but most importantly to make sure that no doses went to waste.

In total, 1,600 doses were given, and none were wasted, Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, told The Seattle Times

A total of 2,315 vaccine doses have gone to waste in Washington state as of Jan. 26, Danielle Koenig, a Department of Health spokesperson, told The Seattle Times. Roughly 1,000 have been lost to improper storage, while the remainder were broken, dropped, spilled or left unused and expired. The number of wasted doses is likely an undercount, because not all providers are consistently reporting wasted doses, the spokesperson said. 

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