Hundreds of people were given expired doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this month at a site in New York City's Times Square, the city's health department confirmed on Tuesday.
New York City's Department of Health instructed the 899 people who received the expired doses at the former NFL Experience building in Times Square between June 5 and June 10 to schedule new Pfizer shots as soon as possible.
"While there is no safety risk for the patients, the re-administration is being carried out to ensure that the individuals are fully protected," the representative said in an email to the Washington Examiner. "Those patients have received e-mails, phone calls, and are also being sent letters to make sure they are aware of this situation." It is unclear whether that means recipients will be given three shots in total or when the doses expired.
ATC Vaccination Services, the company that contracted with the city to administer the shots, apologized for the error.
"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 company said in a statement, according to multiple outlets.
The news follows reports that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be "immediately" lifting all remaining coronavirus restrictions due to the state having reached its target 70% vaccination threshold.
“The state mandates that have proven right and correct and brought us through this pandemic are relaxed as of today,” Cuomo said on Tuesday.
New York was hit hard by the coronavirus, with high infections and deaths early in the pandemic prompting authorities to set up field hospital beds, including in a Navy hospital ship, to accommodate the infected, though many such beds remained unused.
More than 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New York, and nearly 9 million New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
Pfizer referred the Washington Examiner to ATC Vaccination Services and the New York City Department of Health when asked for comment on the matter.
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Original Author: Carly Roman
Original Location: Hundreds of people receive expired vaccines at Times Square site