The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional health agency has acknowledged a 'collective error.' According to information from France Bleu, at least 250 people were given an expired dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in the Loire region in September 2021. Among them, a hundred students from seven colleges in the department would be concerned.
Expired Pfizer doses
The doses were thawed on 6 August and could be injected until 5 September. According to the European Medicines Agency, a Pfizer vaccine must be stored in a refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C for up to 31 days after the medicine has thawed. Here, the doses were administered between 7 and 21 September.
Among the 250 or so people concerned, at least one hundred were pupils.
After investigation, it is believed that the mix-up stems from the fact that the doses were not properly labelled after being thawed.
There is no risk to the health of the hundreds of people vaccinated, according to the ARS, which has contacted the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines. Cécilia Haas, cabinet director of the ARS Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, has assured:
I would really like to reassure the people who are concerned by this vaccination, because today there are no identified risks for the health of the people concerned.
However, the effectiveness of these doses cannot be guaranteed. This is why new vaccination dates will soon be proposed to the people concerned by this error, which, according to the ARS, is the result of a traceability problem.