Rutherford County Schools won't have to dispose of vaccines thought to be damaged

Moderna Vaccine
Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 17:52:31-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Rutherford County School officials announced that they won't be throwing away 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that were once thought to be damaged.

Last week, officials said they would have to throw the doses away due to a storage error. The district alerted the health department to vaccines being placed in an unmonitored freezer ahead of a vaccination event for teachers and staff.

Once the error was discovered, the vaccines were taken to the Rutherford County Health Department and kept under appropriate temperatures.

But after further review, state health officials say the vaccines are safe.

“Generally, vaccines must be discarded when they have been stored outside of approved temperatures but, in an effort to preserve these vaccines, TDH worked with experts at Moderna to conduct a thorough analysis of the situation and it has been determined that the vaccines were not subjected to temperatures sufficient to damage them. These vaccines remain safe and effective for use and will not have to be wasted," said Dr. Shelley Fiscus with the Tennessee Department of Health.

Director of Schools Bill Spurlock was glad to hear the news and grateful for the help of the health department.

“We are grateful these vaccines have been deemed safe,” Director of Schools Bill Spurlock said in a press release. “Over the past week, we have provided feedback to the health department to ensure this type of issue is not repeated in the future.”