The rollout of the COVID vaccine has been marred by a series of mishaps. Some are a result of dosing errors, others a result of vaccine administrator blunders. In either case, they show the sensitivity of doling out the COVID shot.
Here’s a look at some of the mix-ups that have occurred in 2021 with the COVID vaccines:
Vaccine Instead Of Flu Shot
In early October, a family from Evansville, Indiana, received the Pfizer COVID vaccine instead of the flu shot, including two of their children, aged 4 and 5, at a Walgreens pharmacy. The family received a call from the pharmacy explaining the error, WEHT reported.
The COVID vaccine given was the adult version of the shot, and before Pfizer’s COVID vaccine was approved for kids under the age of 12 at a lower dose.
At the time, both children were experiencing symptoms that included fever, body aches, coughs, headaches, and nausea. Both were treated by a pediatric cardiologist for tachycardia and high blood pressure, the news outlet said.
In a statement, Walgreens spokesperson Kris Lathan told the Charlotte Observer, “such instances are rare and Walgreens takes these matters very seriously.”
Six Times The Normal Dose
In October, a 17-year girl received six times the normal dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a Salem, Virginia, CVS pharmacy as she looked to get inoculated to travel back to the Philippines next year.
According to WSLS, an NBC affiliate out of Roanoke, Virginia, the girl was administered the entire vial, which contains six doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is required to be administered in two doses spaced several weeks apart from each other.
The girl was taken to the hospital for swelling in her arm, irregular heart rate, and nausea after the shot, the news outlet said. She also reported that she felt dizzy and is concerned about what the side effects from the shot will be long-term, WSLS said.
CVS said in a statement, “Vaccination errors are a very rare occurrence, but if they do occur, we work with the patient to notify their physician, report the incident to the appropriate regulatory agencies, and to take steps to help prevent it from occurring again.”
Too Young For A Shot
In another instance where a child received an adult shot when they shouldn’t have, an 8-year-old boy in Texas received the Moderna vaccine at a drive-up vaccine site. It occurred after his father registered him for an appointment after being confused about the age requirements, KTVT, a CBS affiliate out of Dallas, reported in April.
The Moderna vaccine has not been approved for people under the age of 18.
There were questions as to how the child slipped through the system and received the shot, at the site that had vaccinated about 3,800 people that day.
Fire Chief Robert Fite told KXAS, an NBC affiliate out of Fort Worth, “We had some questions about how a child under 18 could even get registered. If there was a fail system in place, then we wouldn’t even have to worry because you couldn’t get registered.”
3 Shots Instead Of 2
A 95-year-old woman from Canada received three shots of the COVID vaccine instead of the required two doses in an accidental mix-up.
The woman had received her second dose of the at a Toronto retirement home, and two days later, when she was admitted to the hospital for a leg injury, she received a third dose of the shot after her retirement facility said she had not been vaccinated with it, CTV News reported in March.
While the retirement home tried to correct their mistake, it was too late, and the woman had received the third dose of the vaccine. The woman experienced side effects from the second and third doses of the shot that made her “absolutely not being able to talk,” according to CTV News.
The woman was also increasingly confused and “totally incapacitated.” The woman did have an asymptomatic COVID infection in December 2020.
Shots With Nothing In Them
In March, a Virginia Kroger pharmacy inoculated a small group of people with “empty” syringes of the COVID vaccine in an accidental mishap.
Kroger said it was an “honest mistake.” It continued: “All impacted customers were contacted and have now received the COVID-19 vaccine. We apologize for this oversight and the inconvenience caused for these customers.”
The shots were thought to have been saline at the time, but with further investigation, were realized to have actually been empty syringes, WRIC, an ABC affiliate out of Richmond, reported.
The mistake was caused by an ordering error and did not jeopardize anyone’s health, Kroger told the news outlet. It was quickly corrected, the company said.
Too Many Shots At Once
A 91-year-old Ohio man almost died in February after he received multiple doses of the COVID shot just hours apart on the same day.
The man went into shock after he was administered two doses of the Moderna vaccine within four hours instead of weeks apart as required after he was mistaken for another man with the same name at a rehab center, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Shortly after the second dose, the man felt extremely tired and collapsed. He then went into “respiratory distress.”
His daughter wrote in a Facebook post at the time, “I was told…by the ER that he was dying…He is hanging in there, but it has been a rocky road.”