’It was a blessing’: Some Louisvillians mistakenly given COVID vaccines after surplus

Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 7:33 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An accidental surplus in COVID-19 vaccines led to some in Louisville and Lexington getting vaccinated before their proper turn. Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed the mix-up on Monday.

“The way I see it, it was just a blessing. I jumped at the chance to go and get this vaccine,” Angela Crenshaw told WAVE 3 News.

Angela and Jerry Crenshaw of Louisville were two of the lucky few that were able to get their COVID-19 shots a little early.

Jerry Crenshaw said a few days ago, he got a call that there were extra vaccines after Walgreens employees had finished administering some to a local nursing home.

Walgreens gave this statement to WAVE 3 News when questioned about what happened:

“COVID-19 vaccines are not available to the general public at this time. We continue to work with long-term care facilities to meet their vaccination needs as part of the CDC’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program. When scheduling clinics, facilities are responsible for determining the number of individuals and vaccine doses necessary. In the initial days of providing vaccinations to long-term care facilities in Kentucky, we experienced an isolated situation in which the amount of vaccine doses requested by facilities exceeded the actual need.

“Per CDC guidance, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can be at refrigerated temperatures for only five days. We are committed to eliminating scenarios where vaccine expires due to shelf life while at the same time focusing our efforts on immunizing eligible patient populations in each roll-out phase. Remaining doses from the scheduled clinics in Kentucky were immediately reallocated and used in facilities with clinics on Christmas Eve that were originally scheduled to occur at a later date. Additional excess doses were then offered to local first responders, Walgreens pharmacy and store team members and residents of the community, many of whom were over age 65. These measures were taken to ensure every dose of a limited vaccine supply was used to protect patients and communities.

We will utilize excess vaccine inventory in priority patient populations and continue to work closely with state and federal health agencies in our efforts to vaccinate residents in long-term care facilities and ensure requested doses meet their needs.”

Walgreens said it was working to make sure that a surplus doesn’t happen again.

The Crenshaws said they have not experienced any symptoms after getting the vaccine.

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