KANSAS CITY, MO. – Nearly 600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were wasted in Douglas County, Kansas due to a transmission error, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health announced Thursday.
LDCPH received 570 chilled doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Wednesday afternoon and transferred them to LMH Health.
Vaccines are usually still frozen if they are transferred this way, LDCPH said.
Because of this, LMH Health followed its typical procedure and placed the cans in a freezer before determining that they were already thawed.
Upon finding out, hospital officials reached out to Johnson & Johnson, who said the cans should be discarded.
Russ Johnson, president and CEO of LMH Health, said the hospital is reviewing its processes in hopes of avoiding further mistakes.
“While this is only a small percentage of the total vaccines the county has received, we know it is not insignificant. This is a heartbreaking situation for our hospital, our Phase 2 community members, and our Unified Command partners.” said Johnson.
The state and local health department helps LDCPH coordinate replacement doses.
Both the health department and LMH Health are working to postpone vaccine appointments, which will likely happen at a joint clinic on the Douglas County fairgrounds.