Iowa officials say 77 prisoners got virus vaccine overdoses

FORT MADISON — Administration of the coronavirus vaccine has been halted at a Fort Madison prison after nursing staff there incorrectly gave 77 inmates overdoses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the Iowa Department of Corrections said.

The incident happened Tuesday, the Des Moines Register reported. Department spokesman Cord Overton told the newspaper in an email that once the error was realized, staff immediately sought guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from Pfizer.

The inmates were notified of the overdose and are being closely monitored by medical staff, Overton said. The inmates affected have so far shown only the side effects commonly associated, including soreness at the injection site, body aches, fatigue and fever, he said.

The mother of one of the inmates affected, Kimberly Koehlhoeffer of Fairfield, said doctors told her son he and the others had received six times the recommended dose.

The Pfizer vaccine is packaged as a concentrate that must be diluted with saline solution.

Two nursing staff members who administered the vaccine to the 77 inmates have been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation, Overton said.


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