A pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site accidentally gave patients expired doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and are now saying that these patients must get another shot because the firm that operates the vaccination site “cannot guarantee the effectiveness” of the expired doses.
ATC Vaccination Services, which operated the pop-up vaccination site located at the “NFL Experience” building in Times Square, sent out an emergency notice to the 899 patients affected by the mistake.
“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,” read the notice, which was emailed to patients. “Since we cannot guarantee the effectiveness of the vaccine dose you received, we recommend that it be repeated in order to ensure protection. This vaccine dose administered in error will not count toward a completed vaccine series.”
One father of two teenage daughters who got an expired dose was furious and told the New York Post that he received a phone call about the mistake. “The guy who called wasn’t even a doctor,” he said.
ATC Vaccination Services reported the mistake to the New York City Health Department and the New York City Vaccine Command Center.
According to the email, “there should be no adverse health consequences from the vaccine already received.”
ATC Vaccination Services was immediately replaced as the vaccine operator at the Times Square site after city officials were made aware of the mistake.
“ATC Vaccination Services is part of a large group of vaccine distributors in partnership with the NYC Department of Health to distribute the vaccine. 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,” ATC said in a statement. “After consulting Pfizer, NYC Department of Health sent out an email on our behalf alerting everyone to return for another vaccine.”
“They further instructed us to follow up via phone and mail to alert the recipients that the only way to be certain that they are fully vaccinated is to come in for another shot because the shot in question was in the freezer too long’ to be assured of its full effectiveness,” the statement continued. “We encourage those affected to get a new dose anywhere that provides the Pfizer vaccine.”