Hundreds of people were administered doses of expired COVID-19 vaccines during an event in New York City’s Times Square, city health officials authorities said.
The New York City Health Department confirmed that 899 individuals got Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the former NFL Experience building between June 5 and June 10.
A spokesperson for the department told news outlets on Tuesday that those people should schedule another vaccination session as soon as possible.
“We have communicated with Pfizer, which recommended that the patients receive another dose as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said in statements to the media outlets. “While there is no safety risk for the patients, the re-administration is being carried out to ensure that the individuals are fully protected.”
Other city health department officials, including spokesman Patrick Gallahue, said that patients “have received e-mails, phone calls, and are also being sent letters to make sure they are aware of this situation,” reported The Associated Press.
Patients who got the defective vaccines were informed by ATC Vaccination Services, which said in emails that they need to receive another shot because the firm can’t guarantee whether the shot is effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“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,” ATC’s David Savitsky said in an email to patients, reported the New York Post.
The firm contacted the city’s Department of Health and New York City Vaccine Command Center, Savitsky added in the email before saying that “there should be no adverse health consequences from the vaccine already received.” Those who got the defective doses can get their “repeated dose” right away “in the opposite arm,” he added.
ATC Vaccination Services issued a statement following the incident and apologized.
“We apologize for the inconvenience to those receiving the vaccine batch in question and want people first and foremost to know that we have been advised that there is no danger from the vaccine they received,” the firm said, according to The Associated Press.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 requires two shots to be administered about three weeks apart, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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