MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Health is expecting thousands of vaccines to arrive in the state within the next few weeks while the investigation into wasted vaccine doses in Shelby County is still underway.
The investigation is also aimed at confirming no expired doses were injected into arms of Shelby Countians. TDH Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says many Memphis and Shelby County residents are concerned they may have received one of those doses.
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“We are aware and have received many examples where people were given a sheet of paper when they got their vaccine that had an expiration date on there that was before the date they actually received the vaccine,” said Piercey. “Sometimes, a week or two or more.”
Piercey says TDH is taking these concerns “very seriously” and looking to verify temperature stability on all of those doses.
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“We believe the majority of those are from a clerical error that occurred in the Shelby County Health Department,” said Piercey. “Essentially a lot of the sheets were printed up and the newer ones just weren’t taken to the site. That’s an overgeneralization but that’s the kind of clerical error I’m referencing.”
She says she believes the vaccines were not actually expired.
The state has not deemed the clerical error as their final decision and is continuing to verify.
Piercey says if anyone did in fact receive an expired vaccine, “nothing bad is going to happen.”
“The worst thing that can happen is that it’s just not as effective as a temperature-controlled or unexpired vaccine would be,” she said. “I think people are getting confused thinking that this is somehow contaminated or that it’s spoiled and its going to cause harm -- that is not the case.”