The man says it’s ‘incredible’ that he and 14 others received expired COVID vaccines in Saskatchewan. pharmacy

A Regina man is angry after learning that he, his wife and a dozen others were recently injected with expired COVID-19 vaccines.

« We were trying to do the right thing. We’re protecting my family and others by getting vaccinated. And to hear that something expired, it was amazing, » Jignesh Padia told CBC News.

On Nov. 19, Padia and his wife went to Southland Mall Safeway Pharmacy to get a bivalent COVID shot, while their son got his flu shot.

He remembered that he sensed something was wrong.

« We noticed that the pharmacist seemed a bit tired, » Padia said.

Jignesh Padia wants the pharmacy regulator to investigate the incident. (AP)

He said that’s why he checked with the pharmacist that he and his wife were getting bivalent vaccines and arranged for his son to get the flu shot first « to avoid any mismanagement. »

Then last Friday, Padia received a call from the pharmacy informing him that the vaccines he and his wife had received had expired on November 2.

He was also told that they received doses that only protect against the original coronavirus, not the bivalent vaccine that protects against Omicron subvariants.

« My son even said, ‘How can this happen? When there’s expired food, they throw it away,' » Padia said.

Padia and his wife weren’t the only ones who received expired COVID shots. Sobeys, owner of Safeway pharmacies, says it informed 15 people they had received expired doses.

The company also said all doses were the monovalent COVID-19 booster, not the bivalent.

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Sobeys said it apologized to the patients affected by the incident. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Pharmacies are supposed to throw out expired vaccines, according to the Saskatchewan Department of Health.

Sobeys apologizes

Sobeys said it is conducting an internal investigation to find out what led to the incident and how it can be prevented in the future.

“We sincerely regret that this took place and we apologize to our patients for the situation and the inconvenience. This is contrary to the clearly defined vaccine administration, storage and safety procedures that we have in place in our pharmacies, » wrote Sarah Dawson, Public Affairs. leader for Sobeys.

Padia has also asked the Saskatchewan pharmacy regulator to investigate.

The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals says it has a mandate to investigate every complaint it receives from the public about pharmacists, but is unable to comment publicly on a complaint or an open investigation.

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According to the Saskatchewan Department of Health, expired vaccines are not harmful, but may lose their effectiveness depending on how long they have been given after the expiry date. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Expired vaccines can lose their effectiveness

Sobeys said it is working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the vaccine maker to determine if expired vaccines are still viable.

Expired vaccines are not harmful, but may lose their potency and may not produce the same immune response depending on how long they expire, according to Saskatchewan Health.

“If found to be viable, they will produce the same immune response as an unexpired vaccine. If determined not to be viable, the vaccine may need to be re-administered to be sure it is develops an appropriate immune response,” the ministry said. written in a press release.

There are currently about 1,600 doses of expired vaccines in pharmacies and SHA clinics across the province, according to the ministry, which says vaccine manufacturers are continuously testing samples of vaccines in the market and, depending on the results of these testing, may extend expiration dates.

Padia hopes to know if he and his family are protected against COVID before traveling outside the country next week.

« I’m just puzzled, » he said.


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