Experts explain the impact of an expired COVID-19 vaccine

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Health said it is investigating the possibility of expired COVID-19 vaccine doses given to inmates in Shelby County.

FOX13 reported earlier this week there are questions about vaccines given to inmates and other people in Shelby County during last month’s snowstorm.

RELATED: Vaccines during the snowstorms: who got them and when

We asked an expert about the impact of getting a vaccine if it expired.

This is a question a lot of people who got a vaccine shot in mid-February are asking.

A pharmacist said there’s really not any guidance out there about the effectiveness of a vaccine expired.

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The key to remember is the vaccine gets weaker the older it gets.

“In general, if a dose is expired, it should be thrown away and not administered to a patient, but just because a dose gets expiration doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe,” said Lelan Stice, a pharmacist.

You might be wondering why vaccines wound up given to inmates when they are in the last phase of the vaccination process in Tennessee.

The state health department told us when vaccines are in danger of expiring, providers are asked to find anyone to vaccinate so they don’t go to waste.