Clinic administers wrong second COVID-19 vaccine dose to Thompson, Man. woman

A woman from Thompson says she was accidentally given the wrong vaccine on Saturday. Getty Images

A woman in Thompson, Man., says she was grateful to get her second COVID-19 dose on the weekend, but was concerned when she was told she was given the wrong vaccine.

Robynn Cordell said she went to the clinic in Thompson on Saturday to get her second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

Everything was running smoothly, she said, until just after the nurse gave Cordell the second shot.

“She kind of looked to her right, noticed something,” said Cordell.

Read more: Vaccination clinic at RBC Convention Centre cleared to re-open after gas leak concerns

“So she said she would be right back and then came back with a nurse practitioner, and I was informed that I was given the Pfizer vaccine, as opposed to the Moderna, by accident.”

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My stress level kind of went a little high, but they were comforting, I guess, at the same time,” said Cordell.

“They told me not to worry about it and that it’s happened before within the province.”

‘But they’re just keeping the data on it for now.”

Cordell said the nurse and the nurse practitioner apologized, exchanged phone numbers with her and so far, she hasn’t had any side effects except for a sore arm.

A spokesperson for the province said there were no stats on how many wrong doses have been given in Manitoba, but said it would be “very rare.”

Mixing vaccines

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which contain a special type of protein that provokes an immune response in people against the COVID-19 virus.

Dr. Joss Reimer, head of Manitoba’s Vaccine Task Force, said Monday that both vaccines are similar, adding “essentially, they’re two different brands of the same vaccine.”

Read more: COVID-19: Manitobans who received AstraZeneca shot can get Pfizer, Moderna for 2nd dose

On Tuesday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) released a statement supporting the use of either mRNA vaccine for those who first received the AstraZeneca vaccine — if there is no other choice.

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While there is data that supports the mixing of the AstraZeneca vaccine and either Pfizer or Moderna, there have been no studies published that provides data supporting the mix of the two mRNA vaccines, they added.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not safe, they said.

“At this time, there is no reason to believe that mRNA vaccine series completion with a different authorized mRNA vaccine product would result in any additional safety issues or deficiency in protection.”

Read the NACI statement here:

Dr. Reimer agreed, saying she hoped an upcoming study out of the U.K. will have the data needed.

“I would say even today, if we had a shortage in one or the other … our clinical team would be comfortable recommending that someone receive the other mRNA vaccine rather than not being immunised with their second dose.”

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Cordell said in the future, she hopes that those administering the vaccine double and triple check their clients’ paperwork before giving the shot.

“It was written on a sticky note on top of that paperwork that it was supposed to be the Moderna and she still accidentally gave me that vaccine.”

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