Vaccine overdose puts German care workers in hospital

FILE PHOTO: Illustration of vials and dry ice
FILE PHOTO: Woman holds a vial labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" over dry ice in this illustration taken, December 5, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

December 28, 2020

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been overshadowed by a mishap in the north where eight workers in an elderly care home received an overdose.

Vorpommern-Ruegen district authorities said the workers in Stralsund city received five times the recommended dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine on Sunday. Four went to hospital for observation after developing flu-like symptoms.

“I deeply regret the incident. This individual case is due to individual errors. I hope that all those affected do not experience any serious side-effects,” district chief Stefan Kerth said in a statement.

The incident came after some German districts declined to use vaccines received over the weekend on suspicion that cold conditions were interrupted during delivery.

Vorpommern-Ruegen authorities pointed to previous statements by BioNtech saying larger doses were tested in the Phase 1 study without serious consequences. There was no immediate comment from the pharmaceutical companies.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)