10 people given expired COVID-19 vaccines at a Burnaby Save-On-Foods
VANCOUVER -- Save-On-Foods has issued an apology after a number of customers were given expired COVID-19 vaccines at one of its Lower Mainland locations.
The company says it happened at a pharmacy in Burnaby on April 5, where 10 people were given AstraZeneca vaccines with an expiration date of April 2.
A statement from the company reads in part, "As soon as we discovered the error, we immediately began contacting the impacted clients and making the appropriate disclosures and reports to the professional bodies. Navigating through this pandemic is stressful in itself and we have sincerely apologized to these customers who were impacted."
But despite the concern the news may cause, one expert from UBC says it’s no cause for alarm.
"I don’t see any issue for three day expiration or safety concerns," Dr. Horacio Bach told CTV News in an interview. Dr. Bach is an adjunct professor with UBC’s department of medicine, specializing in infectious diseases.
He says companies have to put an expiration date on vials, but it’s likely the vaccine is effective far past that.
"The expiration date is like a zone where always we have extra days or extra months, in this case with the vaccine we don’t know because we haven’t tested," he said. "On top of that this vaccine is based on DNA, so basically DNA is a very stable molecule so I don't think there will be a degradation or something wrong."
He also adds that the vaccine is given in a sterile environment so there’s no risk of infection.
Save-On-Foods says it’s taken steps to "tighten, refine and reinforce" its processes so this incident does not happen again, it’s also working with the health officials to ensure the affected individuals are "protected from COVID-19."