North Carolina pharmacy mistakenly gives saline shots instead of COVID-19 vaccines



A Walgreens pharmacy in North Carolina mistakenly distributed shots of saline instead of COVID-19 vaccines to nearly two dozen customers last month.

The pharmacy chain confirmed to The Hill that 22 people were affected by the mistake in Monroe, N.C., on March 20.They were all later contacted and given their first inoculations.

All of the patients were also scheduled for their second doses over the weekend.   


“In alignment with CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommendations, we reached out to all impacted patients and administered a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as the impacted patients were available to return to the pharmacy,” Walgreens said in a statement to The Hill. 

Erin Loverher, a Walgreens spokesperson, told the Associated Press that saline injections are often used in training for medical professionals and  that none of the customers were harmed by the mix-up.

The pharmacy chain is investigating the incident. It has administered more than 8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of the end of last month, according to multiple reports.

Multiple people who went to a clinic at a Virginia Kroger to receive COVID-19 vaccines last month were mistakenly given empty syringes. A Kroger spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that all of the impacted customers were contacted and later received the first doses of their inoculations. 

—Updated at 6:52 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Covid-19 vaccination inoculation North Carolina Walgreens

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