Several people are concerned after they received the wrong second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a grocery store pharmacy in Illinois on Tuesday.
Eight people were given the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, but then received a second dose of Pfizer at a Mariano’s pharmacy in Aurora, a spokesperson for the chain told the Chicago Tribune.
Jeff Chaney told WMAQ he and his son were sitting during the post-shot waiting period when a pharmacist told him and several others they’d been given the wrong second dose.
He’s baffled as to how a mix-up could happen.
“I gave you my card and it said right on there, you know, first dose is Moderna, so how could you, you know, go ahead and, you know, give me the Pfizer?” Chaney told WMAQ.
The CDC has said the vaccines are not interchangeable and both should come from the same brand. The agency pointed out that mismatched doses haven’t been evaluated for safety or efficacy.
The agency goes on to say that a person may receive a second dose of any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in “exceptional situations” when providers either don’t know the maker of the first dose or it’s no longer available.
A Mariano’s spokesperson said the chain has reported the incident to the CDC and Illinois Department of Health, the Chicago Tribune reported. Mariano’s said it is also investigating the incident.
“No adverse events for the affected patients have been reported,” the spokesperson said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “All impacted patients have been contacted. We thank these patients for their understanding and have apologized for their inconvenience.”
Dr. Zachary Rubin, a clinical immunologist, told WLS the biggest concern is whether they’re adequately protected against COVID-19 after the mismatched doses.
“I don’t think there’s really an issue of safety here, it’s just a matter of knowing how effective it is,” he told the outlet. “While it’s the same technology of mRNA vaccine technology, it’s not the exact same product. There are several things that go into the delivery, the preservatives that are involved.”
He said those who received the wrong doses should contact their physicians and get tested for COVID-19 antibodies, WLS reported.
Dr. Michael Angarone, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern Medicine, recommends double checking with providers to make sure you’re getting the correct second dose.
“We’re all humans, so there’s gonna be those slip-ups that occur,” he told WMAQ. “And so I think it’s okay to ask and make sure I’m getting the appropriate vaccine.”
Aurora is just west of Chicago.