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Fayetteville VA says it administered expired COVID-19 vaccines

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, a syringe containing a dose of the Pfizer...
FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, a syringe containing a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits in a container during a vaccine clinic at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska.(Loren Holmes | Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP, Pool, File)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 1:25 PM EDT
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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The Fayetteville VA notified 281 of its patients they received an expired dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The expired shots were given to veterans, spouses, caregivers, and employees between June 23 and Aug. 19.

Officials with the Fayetteville VA said the vaccines were frozen up to 21 days longer than the cold temperature storage requirements support.

The VA said it has been in touch with Pfizer scientists who tell them the vaccines don’t pose a known health risk but that the full effectiveness of the vaccine may have been reduced as a result of the expiration.

The VA is asking those affected to receive another Pfizer vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.”

CBS 17 asked the VA spokesperson how this happened, if those administering shots overlooked the dates, and what’s being done to prevent it from happening again.

We have not yet heard back on that.

Full statement:

Fayetteville VA NC Coastal Health Care System clinicians have contacted nearly all of the 281 Veterans, spouses, caregivers, and employees who received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that was frozen between 1 to 21 days longer than the manufacturer’s cold temperature storage requirements support. Notification of the remainder of individuals is ongoing. VA vaccine experts have been in contact with Pfizer scientists, who have reviewed this situation thoroughly. Based on these discussions, the vaccine received does not pose any known health risk. Out of an abundance of caution for those affected, we have recommended that those affected receive another Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has rigid cold storage guidelines, and any minor deviation from these may reduce the full effectiveness of the vaccine.

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