Expired flu shots given to seniors at Toronto retirement home
A needle and syringe used to administer the flu shot in shown in Virgil, Ont., Monday, October 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton
TORONTO -- A group of seniors were given expired flu vaccine shots at a Toronto retirement home last week.
The executive director for Villa Colombo, a retirement home located near Lawrence Avenue and Dufferin Street, confirmed that a "small" number of residents were given doses that were dated for earlier this year.
"The medical director was immediately contacted after notice of the error that morning, and provided assurance that expired flu vaccine is not potent should have no side effects or risk of harm," Toni Dell’Aquila said in a statement.
"Families of the affected residents were also notified and residents were monitored for 72 hours out of an abundance of caution."
Dell'Aquila said there were no adverse reactions to the doses and the facility is working with its pharmacist and Toronto Public Health to review its policies and processes for unused vaccines.
He also said that all residents who have consented to a flu shot will receive a vaccine.
Flu shots are available throughout the month of October for seniors, children between six months and four years old, pregnant women and other individuals at high risk of flu complications.
In November all Ontarians will become eligible.
Ontario has purchased 7.6 million doses of flu shot this year, an increase of 1.4 million in 2020.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said that 1.8 million of those doses have been earmarked for seniors.