Saskatchewan pharmacy gives expired COVID vaccines

Saskatchewan pharmacy gives expired COVID vaccines

Sobeys apologizes, says it’s investigating the incident in a Saskatchewan pharmacy.

Expired vaccines in Saskatchewan

Expired vaccines are not harmful but may lose their effectiveness depending on how long after expiry they have been administered, according to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.

A Saskatchewan man is frustrated after learning he, his wife and about a dozen others were injected with expired COVID-19 vaccines.

“We were trying to do the right thing. We’re protecting my family and others by getting this vaccination. And to hear that you got something expired, it was unbelievable,” Jignesh Padia told CBC News.

On Nov. 19, Padia and his wife went to the Southland Mall Safeway pharmacy receive their COVID-19 bivalent shot, while their son got a flu shot.

He sensed something was off.

“We did notice that the pharmacist appeared a little bit tired,” Padia said.

He double checked with the pharmacist that he and his wife were getting bivalent shots and made his son get the flu shot first “to avoid any mismanagement.”

This past Friday, Padia got a call from the pharmacy informing him that the shots he and his wife received had expired on Nov. 2.

Padia was also told that they got doses that only protect against the original coronavirus, not the new subvariants like Omicron.

“My son even said, ‘how can this happen? When there is expired food, they throw it out,'” Padia said.

Padia and his wife weren’t the only ones who got expired COVID vaccines. Sobeys says it has notified 15 others.

Sobeys said it’s conducting an internal investigation to learn what led to the incident and how it can be prevented in the future.

“We sincerely regret that this has taken place and have apologized to our patients for the situation and inconvenience. This is contrary to the clearly outlined vaccine administration, storage and safety procedures we have in place at our pharmacies,” wrote Sarah Dawson, public affairs lead for Sobeys.

The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals says it’s mandated to investigate every complaint that it receives from the public about pharmacists, but is not able to publicly comment on an open complaint or investigation.

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