The massive power outages in Texas nearly caused 8,400 coronavirus vaccine doses to spoil—but some quick thinking made sure that none of them went to waste. A backup generator failed at Harris County’s health department on Monday, switching off a refrigerator where 8,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine were being kept at the right temperature. According to KHOU, Harris County health officials scrambled to find as many people as possible who could take the shots before they spoiled. About 3,000 doses went to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, which used some to vaccinate jail inmates, 1,600 doses went to area hospitals, and Rice University got 800 doses that were quickly administered to faculty members and students. All but 3,000 doses were distributed when the county was given special permission from Moderna to re-refrigerate the leftover doses. The health department is investigating why its backup generator failed.
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