Manitoba Health says mother and 3-year-old given COVID-19 vaccine by mistake

Manitoba Health says a mother and her three-year-old child were each accidentally given an adult dose of the COVID-19 vaccine instead of a flu shot. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Manitoba Health and Seniors Care says a mother and her three-year-old were each mistakenly given an adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine instead of a flu shot.

The department says in a statement that the error happened Nov. 24 in Brandon, which is located in the Prairie Mountain Health region in western Manitoba.

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Manitoba Health says the mother was told what happened after the fact and was given information about the risks, which it adds are low.

The department could not confirm if it was the first time someone was given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake but did say medication errors do occur, although rarely.

Click to play video: 'Town Hall event to address Manitoba parents’ vaccine questions' Town Hall event to address Manitoba parents’ vaccine questions
Town Hall event to address Manitoba parents’ vaccine questions – Nov 30, 2021

The statement adds that the person who immunized the mother and daughter recognized and reported the error to a supervisor and no further action will be taken against that person.

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Manitoba Health says staff from the health region have reached out to the family to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation into the error.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” the department said in the statement Friday.

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“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

A representative for Prairie Mountain Health referred all questions to Manitoba Health.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether the error has occurred in other parts of the country.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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