DOH reports mix-up in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — More than 100,000 Pennsylvanians could be affected by a mix-up in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that about 200,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, meant to be given as second doses, were instead administered as first doses.

There is no difference in the medicine in the first and second doses of the vaccine. But, because of the mistake, there is a shortage of the vaccine, earmarked for second doses.

As a result, people who’ve received one dose of the Moderna vaccine–30,000 to 60,000 people–will now have to wait longer before getting their second dose. Those scheduled for their first Moderna vaccine–30,000 to 55,000 people–will have to wait longer to receive it, as some of those shots will be reallocated for people needing their second dose within the recommended time period.

Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said it’s a structural issue that started at the beginning of January.

“There was inadvertent use of Moderna second doses and it was an issue that compounded week over week. This was the week that we’ve addressed it because it has become so significant, that again the amount of requested second doses of Moderna was almost equal to our entire allocation of Moderna,” Beam explained.

She declined to say which providers were responsible for the mix-up, which was just discovered over the weekend.

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According to Beam, you’ll be notified by your provider if your second dose has been pushed back. If you don’t hear from them, you should arrive for your normally scheduled appointment.

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