SWPH Says Saline Vaccine Error Spotted After Supply Verified on November 30 – London | The Canadian News

Southwestern Public Health officials are sharing more details about how some people received a saline injection instead of a COVID-19 booster shot at a St. Thomas vaccination clinic last month.

On Tuesday, Global News learned that up to six people may have received a dose of saline instead of the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic in St. Thomas, Ontario, on November 30.

The health unit says 257 people attended the clinic that day, but only a maximum of six people received the saline solution. However, the health unit is not sure which six people are affected.

“There is no need for anyone to worry, we always audit the vaccine that we have administered at the end of each day, the Pfizer vaccine is always mixed with a little saline solution by someone who correctly loads the syringes”, Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer SWPH Health Department.

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Saline mistakenly administered instead of COVID-19 vaccine in St. Thomas: SWPH

Lock said the bug was caught on Nov. 30, but after consulting with Public Health Ontario they decided to wait until people were eligible for another vaccine before reporting the bug.

Saline solution is not harmful to humans and is made from a mixture of salt and water.

Although he said there is no risk of receiving a fourth injection, it is recommended that people wait at least 21 days between doses.

“I’m really upset about the fact that it took 20 days,” said a resident who received a call and were affected by the bug. The resident wished to remain anonymous to avoid backlash for speaking out.

The person, who is in his 70s, said he called a neighbor who received the booster shot the same day, a neighbor who was informed five days earlier.

“I’m concerned that it happened at all, and there has to be a way to keep track of where the saline is and where the vaccines are.”

When asked if the confusion could have been internal, Locke emphasized that this situation is being treated as an accident.

“We are sending a lot of people through our mass immunization centers and people were doing the same task over and over again, so sometimes that’s a setup for an error to occur,” Lock said.

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To make sure another mistake like this doesn’t happen again, Lock noted that they’ve made a number of changes, like rotating people more so they don’t get tired and checking their supply every few hours instead of once a day.

“We have now looked very carefully at our procedures to make sure this does not happen again.”

SWPH has contacted everyone at the clinic that day and lets patients determine if they want to come in for another booster shot.

Lock noted that they asked each patient a series of screening questions to try to determine if they had more side effects from the vaccine to see if they were properly vaccinated.

– with files from Jacquelyn LeBel of Global News

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