Six people injected saline instead of COVID vaccine at Niagara clinic – .

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Six people injected saline instead of COVID vaccine at Niagara clinic – .


More than 200 people are being contacted to repeat their COVID-19 vaccinations because some people who attended a vaccination clinic in the Niagara region were given an injection of saline instead of the vaccine. Niagara Region Public Health said Tuesday that six people were injected with the harmless saline substance on June 16 at a clinic in Port Colborne, Ont.

An end-of-day audit revealed that six doses administered had not been counted and that an additional vial of saline diluent had been used. The diluent is intended to be mixed with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine concentrate and while not harmful, it does not protect against COVID-19.

Dr Mustafa Hirji, the region’s top doctor, said the health department was unable to identify the six people who had not received the vaccine.

“Unfortunately, with the size of the current clinic and the nature of the provincial immunization documentation tool, there is no current tracking of individual vaccine doses,” Hirji said.

However, he said public health was able to reduce the time taken to administer doses, identifying 205 of the 1,148 people who received injections that day.

These people were contacted to book a new vaccination after an appropriate dosing interval. The majority will receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which the health unit says is safe but does not offer additional benefits.

The health unit said a review had been carried out to investigate the error that had occurred and that new dose tracking and training protocols had been introduced to avoid similar situations.

Hirji said the changes include involving more staff in double-checking the work of others, more detailed documentation in clinics, and a plan to track every dose from the freezer to the patient who has it. received.

“The point here is, of course, that there is no other time, by having these double checks to make sure we stop the error before it happens,” Hirji said. “If unfortunately there was another mistake, we would be able to cut it much closer to just six people. “

Hirji said he didn’t believe similar situations could have happened at other clinics in the Niagara region based on the checks and balances that helped identify the problem at the end of the day at the clinic. of Port Colborne.

At least one other such incident has been reported in Ontario since the start of the vaccination campaign.

Mackenzie Health, which operates vaccination clinics in York Region, informed the public of a similar error in April, saying it contacted the six people who had received an injection of saline by mistake instead of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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“Our internal quality assurance processes allowed us to identify this issue in a timely manner and to contact those affected to disclose the issue, offer support and have them tested for antibodies to identify which ones needed to be re-injected with. the vaccine. Said in a statement at the time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 6, 2021.

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