Highlights –

  • 6,396 doses of COVID-19 vaccine discarded in Kawasaki Prefecture, Japan.
  • Kawasaki Municipal Government had to discard Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine over freezer malfunction.
  • Pfizer’s vaccines are forbidden to be used after being refrozen once thawed.
  • The manufacturer of the freezer is currently verifying the cause.

The Kawasaki Municipal Government reported to have had discarded a total of 6,396 doses of vaccine for the coronavirus due to the temperature of the ultra-low temperature freezer where the inoculations were stored rose and the vaccine thawed.

According to the municipal government, an alarm sounded from the freezer on the morning of June 13, in which Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine for use by elderly care facility users and others were being stored., The freezer which is usually set at minus 70 to 80 degrees Celsius, on June 11 the temperature had risen from around 2 p.m. and reached 9.1 degrees Celsius at around 3 p.m. on June 12. Then it had frozen again. The freezer is believed to have been defective and the city, located south of Tokyo, replaced it with a new one. 

According to Pfizer, its vaccines are forbidden to be used after being refrozen once thawed. On June 12 the manufacturer of the freezer announced that some defective products could cause the temperature to rise, and when examined it was found that this was the case with the freezer in Kawasaki.

The city officials have mentioned that they will take more thorough measures to prevent a recurrence, such as periodically checking the temperature of the freezer and securing spare vaccine doses.

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