This is not the “experience” New Yorkers want.
The operator of the pop-up COVID vaccination site in the former “NFL Experience” building in Times Square sent out an emergency notice informing 899 patients that it erroneously injected them with expired Pfizer doses.
The patients were told by ATC Healthcare Services that they need to get another shot because the firm “cannot guarantee the effectiveness” of the doses they received.
“We are contacting you concerning the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine you received at Times Square – NFL Experience vaccination site on June 5 to June 10, 2021. It was recognized after the vaccine was administered, that it had been in the freezer beyond the approved time frame prior to it being administered,” David Savitsky said in an email to patients.
A dad of two teen daughters who were given the faulty shots last week was left fuming after getting the email and a phone call from ATC Healthcare about the mix up.
“The guy who called wasn’t even a doctor,” the dad said.
The source, who wished to remain anonymous, also wondered how many other patients were given defective doses.
“It’s a 6 day period of time!!!! Nobody noticed?!?!?,” the parent said.
Savitsky said in his email that ATC contacted the city Health Department and the New York City Vaccine Command Center and claimed “there should be no adverse health consequences from the vaccine already received. “
But Savitsky added, “Since we cannot guarantee the effectiveness of the vaccine dose you received, we recommend that it be repeated in order to ensure protection. This vaccine dose administered in error will not count toward a completed vaccine series.”
He said the “repeated dose” can be received right away “in the opposite arm” that got the defective shot.
Patients are required to receive two Pfizer or Moderna doses to be fully protected from the coronavirus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose.
Savitsky of ATC Healtcare told patients they can can be revaccinated at any location that offers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, including pharmacies or other medical providers.
“This notice can be given to the provider to confirm why you need to receive an extra dose of vaccine,” Savitsky of ATC Health Services said.
“We apologize for any inconvenience or concern this may cause you.”
ATC Healthcare’s Times Square vaccination site was still taking appointments via the city Health Department website as well as walk-ins.
A supervisor at the Time Square site declined comment when a Post reporter showed up and asked about the defective doses.
After hearing of the goof, city officials immediately replaced the ATC Healthcare as the Times Square vaccine operator with a new provider, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
A City Hall official said 899 patients need to be revaccinated but no other appointments at the Times Square site needed to be cancelled.
Additional reporting by William Engel