Dozens need third Pfizer vaccination after receiving too-low first dose
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Dozens need third Pfizer vaccination after receiving too-low first dose

Credit: Belga

58 people who were vaccinated in the Den Amer vaccination centre in the Flemish town of Diest on Saturday 10 April, received a too low first dose of the Pfizer vaccine due to a human error, meaning they will need an extra shot.

The staff responsible at the centre noticed the problem after one of the many quality checks, according to Ivo Deckers, vice-president of the first-line zone Demerland, which the centre is part of.

“There was too little liquid in the syringes, meaning the doses of the vaccines administered were too low,” he said on VRT radio. “It is probably the result of human error, which could have happened at two points in the process.”

After the vaccine is delivered to the vaccination centre, it is mixed with another liquid before it is administered. That mixture possibly contained too little vaccine, according to Deckers, who added that it is also possible that too many doses were taken from one vial.

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As a result, the 58 people “could be less protected against Covid-19 than what is normally expected,” the first-line zone announced on its Facebook page.

In consultation with the Flemish Agency for Care and Health, however, it was decided that all these people will receive a third shot, so they will certainly be sufficiently protected against the virus.

“For a first and second shot, the same amount of the vaccine is normally administered,” Deckers said, adding that the affected people’s second dose will be seen as their first shot, and the third vaccination will be considered their second dose.

In the meantime, the affected people – all over-65s – have been personally informed by phone and/or email, and have already made an appointment to get vaccinated a third time, which will happen in June.

Everyone who was also vaccinated in the Den Amer vaccination centre in Diest on Saturday 10 April but has not been contacted, was given the correct dose and does not need to worry, the first-line zone stressed.

“At no time was there a risk to the health of those involved. The additional injection guarantees all 58 people full protection against Covid-19,” Deckers said, adding that additional measures have been taken to prevent a repetition in the future.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times