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Kleinburg dad shocked to learn children received expired COVID-19 vaccines in Vaughan
Oct. 20, 2022

Jimmy Percaccio thought his family was doing the right thing.

For almost three years, his wife and three-year-old daughter had been careful not to contract COVID-19.

She was their late-in-life miracle baby and the 61-year-old Kleinburg father did not want to expose her, himself, his wife or aging parents to the virus.

But his daughter and wife had been “imprisoned” long enough. They were eager to get her vaccinated and live a more normal life.

When the province expanded vaccine eligibility to the under-five age group, they signed on, booking at a public health-run clinic rather than a pharmacy because Percaccio said “they would know best what they were doing.”

Her first shot went well and on Oct. 4, she received her second.

Two days later, Percaccio got a phone call from York Region Public Health.

The vaccine she’d received had expired.

“I asked them how the hell is this possible? They wouldn't answer the question.”

He spent the next few days on the phone, writing emails, revisiting the clinic and trying to find answers.

Would it cause harm, would the vaccine still protect her and were there any warning signs to watch for?

He tried contacting everyone he could think of: the clinic supervisor, their doctor, the local pharmacist, York Region Public Health, Moderna, a local MPP, the Ministry of Health and Doug Ford, but got no solid answers.

Finally, he said a supervisor told him that the person who administered the dose had misread the use-by date.

“I couldn’t believe it. Was she elderly? Was she blind? Isn’t there some protocol? Shouldn't they have called me right away?”

In an emailed statement to, York Region Public Health confirmed that on the morning of Oct. 4, three children under five visited the 9060 Jane St. clinic and received pediatric Moderna vaccines that had expired at midnight on Oct. 3.

The issue was identified on Oct. 6 and public health immediately consulted with Moderna and Ontario’s Ministry of Health, said regional spokesperson Patrick Casey.

“Both advised the doses are valid given that it had only been a few hours past the use-by date,” Casey said.

“York Region Public Health maintains many policies and procedures in clinics to ensure proper administration of vaccines; this situation has been reviewed and additional steps will be taken to prevent future incidents.”

Receiving an expired vaccine is very uncommon, but it is not dangerous, said Kelly Moore, president and CEO of, which educates health-care professionals about U.S. vaccine recommendations.

“A vaccination given past the expiration date might not work as well as it is designed to work,” she said. “Therefore, when this happens, the clinic where the vaccine was given typically contacts the recipients to repeat the vaccination as soon as feasible.”

Casey said Moderna tested the specific lot given to the children in Vaughan and determined the vaccine had maintained the activity necessary to protect against COVID-19 at the time of administration.

Percaccio now wonders what more he could have done to prevent this.

At the time of the vaccine appointment, his wife checked the vials to ensure it was a Moderna pediatric dose; should they have checked the date, too?

It’s possible, Moore said. Those who administer vaccines are trained to verify the expiration date before they administer it, but a patient who is concerned may ask to confirm.

For most vaccines, the date is printed on the vial itself, but when COVID-19 vaccines were manufactured, it wasn’t yet known exactly how long they would remain potent, so expiration dates must be looked up online.

“The vaccination provider should have that information readily available and have already looked it up.”

At York Region Public Health vaccination clinics, shots are administered by a Registered Nurse or Registered Pharmacist who follows policies and procedures to ensure proper vaccine administration and stability, Casey said.

"If a client has any questions prior to or after receiving their vaccine, including wishing to see the labelled syringe or vial, our clinic staff are always happy to answer questions and support them through the process."

The Percaccio family remains rattled, still watching their daughter closely for unusual symptoms and still uncertain she is safe.

“We’re on pins and needles … There's so much stress.

“I talked to our old family doctor who retired and she said, what the hell? They've been administering this vaccine for two years. How could they make that mistake?”