Nearly 600 Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Thrown Out After Doses Became Unfrozen

(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Julia Canzano Contributor
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A Kansas hospital threw away nearly 600 COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday due to a “processing error,” according to health officials.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas received 570 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Wednesday, according to the hospital’s press release. Protocol dictates that the vaccines must be delivered frozen, and stored frozen until ready for distribution by the hospital. However, the vaccines that Lawrence Memorial Hospital received were already thawed when they arrived.

Brian Bradfield, hospital associate vice president of ancillary services, said to that the hospital reached out immediately to Johnson & Johnson for guidance, according to the press release. Johnson & Johnson informed the hospital that the vaccines could no longer be used and must be thrown away. (RELATED: 2 Hospitals Waste 42 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses)

“Although this is a small percentage of the overall vaccines that the county has received, we know it is not insignificant — this is a heart-wrenching situation for our hospital, our Phase 2 community members and our Unified Command partners,” Russ Johnson, president of the Kansas hospital, said.

The vaccination team at the hospital is working to “quickly review and refine these processes to prevent future errors,”  according the press release. The press release also stated that the team was working to reschedule vaccination appointments for those who would have gotten the vaccine if not for the error.

There have been multiple instances across the country that vaccines were thrown away due to processing issues and vaccine roll-out policies. Hundreds of coronavirus vaccines were thrown away in New York in early January due to mistakes and limitations on who could be vaccinated in the states.