AmericaThe staff at one vaccination site in Boone county mistakenly injected a mixture of REGN-COV2 antibodies to 42 people, instead of getting the Moderna vaccine as planned.
The incident happened on December 30. So far, none of the 42 people have had the side effects, said a representative of the National Guard of West Virginia (VNG), the leading vaccine distribution organization in the US, said. They say this is “a problem in the vaccination process”.
According to Major General James Hoyer, senior manager of VNG, confusion occurred during the transport of Regeneron antibodies to the distribution center. There, employees mistakenly ordered the drugs with Moderna’s batches of vaccine, then shipped them to Boone County.
Moderna and REGN-COV2 vaccines are quite similar, need to be stored in the refrigerator before use. However, the outside of the jar and the containers are clearly labeled.
“We reviewed, fixed and tightened the vaccination process as soon as we found the problem, making sure the same problem didn’t happen,” says Hoyer. He considered the situation as “human error”.
Authorities are communicating with 42 people who were mistakenly injected. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will monitor and prioritize immunizations for this group in the near future.
So far, the state government has not detected a similar problem in the remaining batches of vaccines.
The confusion occurred in the context of the number of hospital admissions for Covid-19 in the US rising to a record, the demand for using the REGN-COV2 is the highest ever.
REGN-COV2 is a rare and expensive mixture of Regeneron antibodies that reduce the amount of nCoV and improve symptoms in Covid-19 patients. This is a remedy that US President Donald Trump used when he was infected with nCoV in October. REGN-COV2 needs to be administered intravenously instead of a direct intramuscular injection like a vaccine.
“While injecting Regeneron into the body is harmless, the incident reminds the leadership team to review and improve the safety and vaccination process,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, head of the anti-Covid efforts- 19 state, stressed.
The West Virginia official reported 89,327 infections, at least 1,373 deaths, as of Jan. 3. More than 1,500 new cases were recorded on January 2. Meanwhile, the United States remains the country most heavily affected by the pandemic, recording 188,020 more cases and 1,735 deaths in the past 24 hours. The country closed 2020 with the deadliest December and had the most infections since the pandemic broke out.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.8 million people have been vaccinated with Covid-19 so far. The figure is much lower than the target of immunizing 20 million people, which the authorities promise to complete before entering 2021.
Le Hang (According to the NY Times, CBS News)