KEY POINTS

  • A health service sent out a notice revealing they have given defective vaccines from June 5 to 10
  • Expired vaccine doses would not cause adverse health effects
  • Expired shots may not be as effective against COVID-19

Health officials at the pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site in New York City sent out a notice to vaccine recipients after discovering that they had been injecting expired Pfizer/BioNTech shots for nearly a week.

In an emergency notice sent out by ATC Healthcare Services, patients who had received a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are advised to come in for another dose because they were given expired shots.

“We are contacting you concerning the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine you received at Times Square – NFL Experience vaccination site on June 5 to June 10, 2021. It was recognized after the vaccine was administered, that it had been in the freezer beyond the approved time frame prior to it being administered,” David Savitsky, CEO of ATC Healthcare, said in an email to patients, the New York Post reported. 

Savitsky noted that the expired shots would not lead to any adverse health consequences. However, they could not guarantee its effectiveness against COVID-19. 

People who received the expired doses can immediately get another shot of the Pfizer vaccine in the opposite arm. The patients may visit any vaccine location that offers the Pfizer doses. 

“This notice can be given to the provider to confirm why you need to receive an extra dose of vaccine,” Savistsky added. 

The United States is currently facing a surplus of COVID-19 vaccines and is struggling to distribute the shots before the expiration dates. The surplus comes as more states face vaccine hesitancy among residents. 

In Tennessee and North Carolina, the state government was forced to give back millions of vaccine doses to the federal government after demand has slowed. 

In Tennessee, only 40.4% of people have received at least one dose of vaccine, while only 35.2% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the state’s health department. 

In North Carolina, 54% of the state’s adult population have received at least one dose, while 51% are fully vaccinated. 

Multiple states have recently introduced incentive programs to boost vaccination rates, such as free marijuana, alcoholic beverages and a chance to win $1 million or a four-year full-ride scholarship. 

A man is inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine in Uruguay, which is the country with the highest relative rate of Covid deaths in the last 14 days A man is inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine in Uruguay, which is the country with the highest relative rate of Covid deaths in the last 14 days Photo: AFP / Eitan ABRAMOVICH