Over 16,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have gone to waste after two different storage and delivery issues caused the drug to spoil before it could be administered to residents in Michigan and Maine.

Michigan health officials said on Tuesday that 21 shipments that contained 11,900 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine were ruined due to temperature control issues during delivery, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Moderna’s vaccine is stable at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 days and can be stored for up to six months at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vaccine shipments were being handled by healthcare distribution company McKesson Corp., which has been contracted by the federal government to manage the delivery of the COVID vaccines, the news outlet said.

The vaccine’s temperature was being monitored during transport, but state health officials said they believe that the drug got too cold during delivery. The vaccines are being replaced by McKesson after an investigation into the cause of the temperature issue.

Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the state health department, told the Detroit Free Press that no one was injected with the spoiled vaccine doses.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a Tuesday coronavirus briefing that she was “made aware that a number of Moderna vaccines that were shipped to Michigan were not kept at the appropriate temperature and thus we couldn't use them."

She added, "That frustrates me when I know we are in a race and every vaccine matters. But that's not something that I could control; it's not the state of Michigan's fault. ...I'm certain that people who had appointments scheduled at facilities that were supposed to get those particular shots were frustrated because they weren't able to get them. That's part of the bumpy road that we are all experiencing nationwide.”

Maine also saw 4,400 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine spoiled during delivery after boxes containing the drug were set aside and became too warm, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Upon shipment, the boxes of the vaccine had the sensor indicator displaying that the temperature was beyond the safety threshold to be administered at 35 of 50 sites in the state that had accepted shipments of the doses, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday during a coronavirus briefing.

The vaccine doses appeared to have spoiled during packaging or shipping and were not administered to any people, Shah said. Replacement vaccine doses were shipped out to the sites to be administered to the scheduled recipients.

“There are numerous checks along the way to ensure that when a vaccine arrives it is both safe and effective as well as viable,” Shah said. “And if at any point in the journey of vaccine – from the site of manufacture to someone’s arm here in Maine – the shipping, handling and carrying conditions are not optimum, there are processes in place so that we know that and so that the vaccine is not given to somebody.”

The news of the COVID vaccine issues comes as Joe Biden gets ready to take office on Wednesday, and concerns mount over the accuracy of information provided by the Trump administration on the COVID vaccine roll out to the Biden camp.

A source for the Biden transition team told CNN that it was only within the last few days that they were given access to Tiberius – the system which shows how many vaccine doses are available to each state.

Until this point, the Biden administration was relying on data from vaccine manufacturers but was reluctant to reveal that they were left in the dark, fearing further pushback from Trump, a source said.

But outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News the contrary on Monday. He said: “This is a concerted effort by the new team to down-talk where things are, so they could look like heroes when they come in and just carry forward the momentum that we have established.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 13.5 million people have received 15.7 million doses of the COVID vaccine to date.

The BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
The BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. AFP / Daniel ROLAND