The five regions for which the doses were intended have temporarily suspended their vaccination campaign. A thousand people have already been vaccinated with the affected lots, which may have lost their effectiveness. The shipping company responsible for the delivery had set the storage temperature to that recommended for the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech, well below the -40 ° C indicated for the Moderna vaccine.
The health authorities are investigating to determine if the effectiveness of the product has been degraded and if the people concerned should receive a new first dose. Virologist Ingemar Hallén believes, however, that there is “no risk to health”.
“The supplier unfortunately made a mistake,” epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told Swedish public media SVT. “The vaccine was delivered at a temperature that was far too low. It was at the level recommended for the Pfizer product, whereas Moderna’s is not suitable for such cold storage.”
The Värmland region reported having inoculated 400 of the doses in question. They were injected to health workers, who were informed by text message, said the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in the region, Ingemar Hallen. The regions of Gävleborg, Dalarna, Halland and Östergötland concerned are also concerned.
The Swedish pharmaceutical company that distributes Moderna vaccines, Apoteket AB, said it was investigating the incident.
Sweden has administered a total of around 146,000 vaccines as of Jan. 17, according to the public health agency. The country, which has 10.3 million inhabitants, has recorded 547,000 cases of Covid-19 and 11,005 deaths linked to the disease since the start of the pandemic.