Indigenous were given expired COVID-19 vaccines for a month in Canada

Seventy-one members of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation in the Canadian estate of Ontario were given expired COVID-19 doses for a month before they were told of the error earlier this week. Reported the public broadcaster CBC. 

In a two-minute briefing yesterday, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), which administered the expired Pfizer-BioNTech doses in error between Aug. 13 and Sept. 9, said it was working on a plan to “customize the approach to reimmunization” for those affected. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses expired on August 9 but were administered to community members between Aug. 13 and Sept. 9, according to a letter from ISC that was sent to the First Nation.

“While receiving a vaccine that is beyond its best-before date does not pose health risks to the individual, the recommendation is for the individual to be re-vaccinated,” ISC wrote in the letter. 

“The department sincerely apologizes for the vaccine error and the concern that it may cause for the members of Saugeen First Nation.” 

Saugeen First Nation received its vaccine shipment on July 13. The expiration date on the vials said October 2021, but is only correct if the vaccine remains frozen. Reported CBC. 


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