MOUNT CARMEL — Excessive doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered to 24 Valley residents during a mobile vaccination clinic on the Mount Carmel High School campus on Wednesday.
Latino Connection, which uses CATE (or Community-Accessible Testing and Education) units to administer the vaccines as one of the partner agencies of the Department of Health, said the improper doses were administered by volunteer nurses and the error was quickly identified and state agencies were contacted immediately.
The firm said the patients are being carefully monitored, have shown no adverse side effects and are in stable condition.
Department of Health communications Director Barry Ciccocioppo said the state was made aware and is also monitoring the 24 individuals.
“The department was notified that a vaccine provider administered the wrong dosage of COVID-19 vaccine to 24 individuals during an event in Mount Carmel and we immediately contacted the CDC and provided appropriate guidance to ensure the provider contacted each individual — so the affected individual was aware of the error and would closely monitor their condition,” he said.
In April, 77 inmates in Iowa were given overdoses of the vaccine, according to an Associated Press story. The inmates were closely monitored by medical staff members but only showed the side effects commonly associated with the vaccine, including soreness at the injection site, body aches, fatigue and fever.
Ciccocioppo called the error at Mount Carmel isolated and said it should not discourage people from getting the vaccine.
“We are redoubling efforts to ensure that all vaccine providers and clinicians fully understand the process of administering each of the COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.
George Fernandez, CEO of Latino Connection, said his firm views every matter of public health and safety with importance.
“I wish to emphasize the attentiveness and prompt actions of the staff that addressed the issue immediately and followed practiced protocols,” Fernandez said. “Our mission is to put safety first and I am confident we have done that here today.”
Thus far, the CATE mobile vaccination events have administered approximately 6,800 COVID-19 vaccines across Pennsylvania, according to a report from the firm. Wednesday’s error represents less than one percent of individuals who have attended one of the company’s events.
“Everyone who wishes to receive a COVID-19 vaccine should feel safe and confident in their decision to attend a vaccination clinic,” the company said in a statement.