Health Worker Accidentally Gets a 'Massive' Vaccine Dose

Italian woman is doing fine regardless
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2021 8:20 AM CDT
Woman Accidentally Given 6 Vaccine Doses
A medical staff member administers a dose of Pfizer vaccine, in Turin, Italy, on April 14, 2021.   (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)

A 23-year-old Italian woman is doing well after she accidentally received six doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. A health worker at Noa hospital in Tuscany had filled a syringe with an entire vial of the vaccine, which is to be split into six doses. It was only after the shot was administered that "she saw five empty syringes and realized her mistake," a hospital rep tells CNN. The woman who received the "massive dose," described as an intern in the hospital's psychology department, was monitored for 24 hours before her release on Monday. She was said to be in good condition after receiving fluids and Tylenol as a precaution, per the Local. No adverse reaction was reported. Director of infectious diseases Dr. Antonella Vicenti said that was also the case with patients in Israel and Germany who got five times the normal dose, per CBS News.

Vaccine overdosing has also occurred in the US. Nurses at an Iowa state prison gave a higher than normal dose to 77 inmates just last month, reports the Des Moines Register. The union representing prison employees said nurses had been asked to quickly switch from administering the Moderna vaccine, which comes pre-mixed, to the Pfizer vaccine, which is to be diluted. A Department of Corrections rep said none of the 77 inmates needed hospitalization, though some complained of side effects, including body aches. The case remains under investigation by the Department of Corrections and the University of Iowa Hospitals. The hospital and Italy's medicines regulator are investigating in the Italian case. Doctors say they'll test the woman's blood regularly to gauge her immune response and antibody levels, as the long-term effects are unclear, per CBS. (More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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