Nurses who gave prisoners vaccine overdoses suspended

Nurses who gave prisoners vaccine overdoses suspended
© istock

Two nurses have been relieved from their positions at an Iowa prison after they allegedly administered overdoses of the coronavirus vaccine to more than 70 inmates.

On Monday, Cord Overton, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, announced that both unnamed nurses who inoculated at least 77 inmates with up to six times the recommended dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been terminated, according to the Des Moines Register.

The news outlet reported that the incident occurred on April 20 at the Fort Madison prison. Overton told the Register on Monday that the inmates experienced normal side effects from the vaccine and that none of them were hospitalized.


"The inmates that received doses in excess of what is recommended have been monitored, and all are in good health based on our medical staff’s assessments," Overton wrote in an email to the Register. "Facility medical services continue to be available to them if their health status should change."

The department did not explain what led to the extra doses being administered, the Register reported.

The prison had switched from administering the Moderna vaccine, which reportedly comes premixed, to the Pfizer vaccine, which is shipped as a concentrate and is required to be diluted with saline solution before it is administered. 

Following the incident in April, Iowa prison authorities told the Register that the nurses failed to follow clear instructions on administering the vaccine.

"Our investigation confirmed that clear instructions were provided for those charged with administering the vaccine, and that the administration was done in teams of fully licensed registered nurses in order to prevent this exact type of event from occurring," Overton told the Register at the time.