Houston – The Houston Health Department is recommending more than 200 people get a repeat dose of the COVID-19 vaccine following an issue at two locations.
The department said the issue relates to the use of the Moderna vaccine administered prior to the product’s expiration date, but outside of its use-by date.
The vaccine must be used within 30 days of being moved from a freezer to a refrigerator, the agency said in a statement. However, the vaccine boxes are only labeled with an expiration date, which contributed to the error.
The health department said it’s contacting 356 patients because of the incident connected to Sharpstown Health Services and Hiram Clark Multi-Service Center between Sept. 29 and Oct. 28, 2021.
The department is recommending some patients get a repeat dose while others do nothing.
“I’m still dumbfounded,” said Jeremy Reedy, a Houston resident. “I can’t believe this is happening.”
Reedy said he received the second Moderna shot on Oct. 27 at the Sharpstown location.
“Today at 5:40, I get a phone call and them saying that the vaccine was not good, that I need to come get another vaccine,” Reedy said.
In the statement, the health department said it immediately discarded the remaining affected vaccines upon discovery of the incident and that measures are implemented to prevent this from happening again. The department said it also contacted Moderna for guidance.
“We regret the error and value the trust of the community,” the statement said.
The health department is providing the following recommendations:
• 142 patients who received an affected dose from September 29 – October 12, 2021, do not need to take action because the dose they received maintained the level of activity necessary to protect against the virus at the time of administration.
• 214 patients who received an affected dose from October 13-28, 2021 are recommended to receive a repeat dose because the affected dose may not provide the level of activity necessary to protect against the virus.