Lahey Hospital raced to administer ‘extra’ vaccine doses before they expired

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Workers at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center were given a gift this week when another healthcare company delivered extra doses of the vaccine. However, a spokesperson said the delivery was made “on short notice” and the hospital had to hurry before those vaccines expired.

The spokesperson did not name the company that delivered the doses but said the hospital was able to vaccinate “a few hundred” additional employees. The hospital would not confirm how many extra doses were administered, or if any went to waste.

The last-minute scrambling at Lahey reveals how a lot of the distribution in Massachusetts — especially among our frontline health care workers — can be scattered and unorganized.

“Vaccines offer a new line of defense again this virus, and we are deeply committed to vaccinating our extraordinary clinicians and staff as quickly as we can. We were grateful to receive these additional doses and put them to good use,” Beth Israel Lahey Health Spokesperson Jennifer Kritz said in an email to Boston 25 News.

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According to the Department of Public Health, the state has received 285,050 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

As of Dec. 31, only 78,643 doses — around 28% — have been administered across the state. More than 72,000 of the doses have gone to hospital workers, according to the state’s new Weekly Covid Vaccination Report.

Gov. Charlie Baker talked about overcoming some of the challenges with distributing the vaccine.

“I said when this whole thing was first been discussed about 3 or 4 weeks ago that I expected the rollout would be bumpy. And it certainly lived up to my expectations with respect to that,” Gov. Baker said.

Emails Friday to the Mass. Dept. of Public Health and the COVID-19 Command Center went unanswered.

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