COVID-19 vaccine mistake leaves thousands awaiting second doses in Pa.

Written by on February 17, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine mistake leaves thousands awaiting second doses in Pa. 

“In the short term, we are faced with Moderna second dose requests far exceeding” what is available.

Brett Sholtis / WITF and Jim Deegan / WLVR

February 17, 2021

AP Photo

More than 100,000 people in Pennsylvania may have their vaccine appointments rescheduled because of a shortage of second doses of the Moderna vaccine, the Pennsylvania Health Department said Wednesday.

The issue is that vaccines were given to people as first doses even though they were supposed to go to people who were awaiting their second doses, said Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam. This has been happening since January, she said.

“In the short term, we are faced with Moderna second dose requests far exceeding” what is available, Beam said during an online news conference.

Beam wouldn’t say which providers were responsible or how many would be affected by the shortage. She did says the state will expand the window of time between the first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine from 28 days up to 42 days. Beam said that time frame still adheres to CDC guidelines.

Those who received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine are not affected.

Beam emphasized that the second Moderna vaccines will still be effective if people receive them later than originally planned.

The information comes days after the Health Department began work with a bipartisan legislative committee focused on improving Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

About 1.3 million people in Pennsylvania have gotten at least one dose of vaccine. More than 436,000 people have gotten two doses, completing their vaccination.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

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