A 23-year-old Italian woman who was mistakenly administered six doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Italy’s Tuscany was discharged from the hospital on Monday after she was observed to have not suffered any adverse reaction from the overdose.
She was kept under observation for 24 hours in the Noa hospital and was discharged only after she was found to be in “good health”, Daniella Gianelli, a hospital spokesperson told CNN. The patient was given fluids, anti-inflammatory and fever medications as a preventive measure.
“The patient did not have fever and did not have any pain except for pain at the inoculation site, nor any other manifestations,” Dr Antonella Vicenti, director of infectious diseases at Noa Hospital told CBS News. “She was a bit frightened, thus we preferred to keep her here until this morning.”
The incident took place on Sunday when the health worker, administering the vaccine accidentally injected an entire vial that had six doses of the vaccine. The health worker realised the mistake after she saw five empty syringes.
Ms Gianelli further said that the doctors will continue to monitor the patient’s immune response to the “massive dose of the vaccine”, adding that an internal probe has been opened to investigate the matter.
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Dr Tommaso Bellandi, director of patient security for the northwest Tuscany health authority, while condemning the incident said that it occurred because the nurse had an attention lapse.
He further explained that each vial of the Pfizer vaccine contains six doses, which are individually extracted and placed in a separate vial where they are diluted. He said that the health worker in question accidentally injected all the liquid from an undiluted vial.
“She thought that the dilution had taken place,” said Dr Bellandi. “They are both transparent liquids of the same density. Unfortunately, this contributed to the error.”
Earlier in April, at least 77 inmates at a prison in Iowa, US were administered overdoses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Within a week of receiving the vaccine, “dozens” of them reported sick.
While none of the inmates were hospitalized, a prison spokesperson had at the time told the New York Times that they were suffering from ailments consistent with people who have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, including body aches and low-grade fever.
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