Nurse in Italy Accidentally Injects Woman With 6 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

An error by a nurse led to an Italian woman being accidentally given six doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. So far she's not had any adverse reactions.

A doctor gives a vaccine.

Image via Getty/Kmatta

A doctor gives a vaccine.

A 23-year-old woman in Italy was accidentally given six doses of the Pfizer COVID-19vaccine on Sunday morning. She has since been discharged from the hospital after personnel monitored her for potentially adverse reactions. 

The patient had no underlying conditions and is said to be in “good health.” Her hospital stay lasted 24 hours. She was let out on Monday. 

As for how this happened, the health worker administering the vaccine accidentally filled a syringe with an entire bottle. The bottle was full, and the worker only picked up on her mistake when she saw five empty syringes shortly after she had given the woman the shot.  

A spokeswoman told CNN that doctors will continue to keep an eye on the patient’s immune response. It’s yet to be determined if she’ll get the second dose in the next few weeks. It’s also not known what long-term effects, if any, she’ll see. The patient is an intern at the hospital’s psychology department.

An internal investigation was opened into the incident. The same spokeswoman told CNN that the whole thing was “maybe just human error, definitively not on purpose.” 

It was reported that Pfizer studies show people who’d gotten up to five times the vaccine’s normal dosage did not suffer negative consequences. There’s also reports of patients in Israel and Germany who’d gotten five times the dose and not had adverse effects. 

Sunday was a day in which the hospital where this occurred at was said to be extremely busy, with healthcare workers trying to give out as many vaccinations as possible. The nurse who administered the incorrect dosage, as well as the supervising doctor, were reported to be “heartbroken” and “traumatized” by the error. 

Last month, the Italian government decreed that vaccinations were mandatory for all healthcare and pharmacy workers. Those workers who refuse will be placed in roles where they won’t contact patients. It’s not clear if this is constitutional. Italy was especially hard-hit by the virus, and saw some of the highest infection rates in Europe prior to a recent reduction in those numbers.

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