Over 100 Swedes Jabbed With Expired Vaccine
The authorities said that there are “no known medical risks” associated with getting vaccines that are stored past the expiration date, and assessed that the vaccine still provides protection against COVID-19.
More than a hundred people have been inoculated with an expired COVID-19 vaccine in the Swedish city of Nyköping, Södermanland County, south of Stockholm.
“We have breached our internal control,” regional vaccination manager Magnus Johansson admitted in a press release.
The doses were administered on Monday. According to the local authorities, the vaccine has been stored correctly, but the manufacturer Pfizer's recommended expiration date has passed.
The people who received the doses have been alerted.
“There are no known medical risks with getting vaccines that are stored past the expiration date, and our preliminary assessment is that the vaccine still provides protection against COVID-19. However, we have contacted the vaccine manufacturer Pfizer to get further information on whether the longer storage can have any effect on the vaccine so that the vaccination needs to be redone,” Magnus Johansson told national broadcaster SVT.
This summer, 899 New Yorkers who received expired Pfizer shots were subsequently offered a third one. Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation urged African countries to keep the expired vaccines as Sudan and Malawi moved to destroy a batch of AstraZeneca past the best before date.
Among the 102 Swedes who received expired shots, 88 were aged between 12 and 15, as Sweden moves on with its campaign to inoculate teenagers.
Swedish Public Health Agency Director General Johan Carlson admitted that while severe COVID-19 among children is “unusual”, it still happens, which is why the agency lowered the vaccination age to 12.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven emphasised that the inoculation is being carried out “for the sake of children”. However, the campaign also sparked protests from medical professionals, as a group of 24 doctors penned an open letter against it, warning of past tragedies related to botched vaccinations that resulted in side effects such as narcolepsy and unnecessary deaths.