There were 125 reports of 192 patients receiving expired injectable inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV) during the last flu season (July 11, 2018 to March 29, 2019), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
The CDC acknowledged that VAERS “likely captures only a small fraction of expired IIV administered,” therefore the actual number is probably much greater. Of the 103 cases where the age of the recipient was available, 73 (70.1%) were identified as being in the high-risk age groups for influenza (8 were <5years and 65 were >50 years).
There were 4 reports of adverse events after administration of the expired IIV; none were serious. Findings suggest that expired IIV does not pose additional risks for adverse events ‘beyond those of seasonal IIV.’ The CDC did not assess vaccine failure.
To cut the number of expired IIV that get administered, the CDC is reminding facility vaccine coordinators to be aware of the standard expiration date of June 30, for the upcoming season and to make plans for disposal or return of any remaining doses beyond that date. Additionally, vaccine stock should regularly be examined for expired doses.
Individuals who receive an expired IIV should be revaccinated with the current season’s vaccine.
For more information visit CDC.gov.