Patient Gets Six COVID-19 Vaccine Doses in a Single Shot

May 11, 2021

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A nurse in Italy accidentally administered six doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a patient as a single shot, according to CBS News.

The 23-year-old patient received the vaccination on Sunday morning and was observed at the Noa Hospital in Tuscany for 24 hours. She was given fluids and anti-inflammatory and fever medications and released on Monday. She didn't experience any adverse reactions.

"This person at this time will certainly not have side effects," Antonella Vicenti, MD, director of infectious diseases at Noa Hospital, told the news outlet.

Each vial of the Pfizer vaccine contains six doses. Each dose is extracted individually and placed in separate diluted vials. On Sunday, the nurse giving the vaccine injected the full amount from an undiluted vial.

The nurse realized the error and immediately told the patient and attending physician, who began monitoring the woman for adverse reactions, CBS News reported. They alerted local health authorities and the patient's family as well.

Pfizer studies have found that people who receive up to five times the normal dosage don't have additional reactions, Vicenti said. In addition, patients in Israel and Germany who have accidentally received six doses haven't showed adverse reactions, CBS News reported.

"The patient did not have fever and did not have any pain except for pain at the inoculation site, nor any other manifestations," she said. "She was a bit frightened, thus we preferred to keep her here until this morning."

The hospital will test the patient's blood regularly to monitor her immune response and long-term effects, CBS News reported. The hospital has also launched an investigation to review safety procedures.

"This is something that should never happen," Tommaso Bellandi, director of patient security for the northwest Tuscany healthy authority, told the news outlet.

"Unfortunately, due to our limits as human beings, as well as organizational limits, these things can happen," he said.

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