77 inmates receive ‘6 times the recommended amount’ of COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa

Officials at a maximum-security prison in Iowa gave 77 inmates doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that were several times more potent than recommended, the Des Moines Register reported.

The incident, which occurred Tuesday, took place at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

The mother of one inmate told the Register her son received a dose that was “six times the recommended amount,” according to doctors.

“The affected inmates have been notified and are being closely monitored by medical staff. At this time, the only side effects experienced by the inmates are those commonly associated with the Pfizer vaccine,” a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections told the paper.

It is not clear how the incident happened. Two nurses who delivered the vaccine doses have been placed on leave pending an investigation.

The Pfizer vaccine comes in a vial that contains six doses, a fact that has led to mix-ups before. In Australia, two residents of a nursing home were given four times the recommended amount. And in Germany, eight nursing home staffers each received five times the advised dose, with several reporting flu-like symptoms.

Similar incidents happened in Israel.

“In these cases, the practitioners are forgetting to do the dilution and injecting the vaccine concentrate as it is,” Amiram Ariel, head of the Israeli Immunological Society, told Australian broadcaster ABC.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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