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‘Very limited’ number of saline-only COVID vaccines accidentally given, SC health dept. says

DHEC officials said the agency is aware of a “very limited” number of similar cases since...
DHEC officials said the agency is aware of a “very limited” number of similar cases since December 2020.(WIS/File)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 12:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported a “very limited” number of COVID-19 vaccines that reportedly contained only saline.

The response followed an inquiry after a woman reported receiving a notice from a Summerville pharmacy days after she received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. She said she was told to return to the pharmacy because the vaccine dose she received was “not activated.”

DHEC officials said the agency is aware of a “very limited” number of similar cases since December 2020. The Pfizer vaccine requires two parts: the vaccine material and a diluent, like saline. The two components are to be mixed prior to administration.

In each instance, the provider contacted each recipient to re-administer the vaccine, according to SCDHEC spokesperson Laura Renwick.

She says no adverse effects are to be expected from a saline-only vaccine.

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