Pharmacist gives women anti-rabies jab instead of COVID vaccine; apology after expired vaccines given in Canada; NZ pharmacist recounts robbery
Shamli, India: A pharmacist has been suspended from practice after he mistakenly gave three elderly women an anti-rabies vaccine, reports the Indian Express, while another pharmacist has been fired.
Kandla Community Health Centre’s outpatient department routinely offers the anti-rabies vaccine, while the health centre is also now offering COVID-19 vaccines at a dedicated COVID vaccination centre.
According to district magistrate Jasjit Kaur, the three women mistakenly went to the outpatient department rather than the COVID vaccination clinic.
“The pharmacist on duty had left for some essential work and had assigned his work of administering the anti-rabies vaccine to a private person, who is a pharmacist of the Jan Aushadhi Kendra,” he said. “The person injected the three women with the anti-rabies vaccine without checking any papers.”
The pharmacist-on-duty has been suspended, while the pharmacist who administered the incorrect vaccine has been fired.
The women complained of unpleasant side-effects, including headache and dizziness.
Burnaby, British Columbia: The Save-On-Foods chain has apologised after it was found that 10 patients had been vaccinated with expired doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Global News Canada reports that the error had happened at one of the chain’s Burnaby pharmacies.
The doses had expired on April 2, but was given on April 5.
The wife of one of the recipients, Marie Casas, said that she was “alarmed” by the error, particularly given the “negative media attention” which the AstraZeneca vaccine has attracted.
British Columbia, like Australia, has suspended administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine for younger people, but is still offering it to older patients, due to concerns about potentially linked blood clotting reactions.
“We understand that the concern with receiving an expired vaccine is the relative effectiveness of the vaccine and we have contacted the Medical Health Officer and followed their guidance on how to continue vaccination of these customers so they are protected from COVID-19,” said a spokesperson for Save-On-Foods.
“Navigating through this pandemic is stressful in itself and we have sincerely apologised to these customers who were impacted.”
Christchurch, New Zealand: An elderly woman was able to creep out of a pharmacy and contact police during an armed holdup, Stuff reports.
Reporter Steven Walton reports that a man went into the Burwood Pharmacy and threatened the pharmacy co-owner, who gave his name as Peter, with a gun.
Peter was in the pharmacy with his daughter and a customer when the man entered and pointed a gun at him.
After demanding and taking around NZ$1500 (AUD$1387) worth of prescription medicines, the robber demanded Peter’s car keys.
“I wasn’t going to give it to him, but he held the gun against me, and so I gave him the car keys … I thought, ‘hold on here, it’s better to pass it over then get hurt’,” he said.
“I was just annoyed about the whole thing, you know that he could cause so much trouble, because it’s so much extra work, too,” Peter said.
“[I was] mad about him just being there, rather than frightened at the time, that he could just come in and do that sort of thing.”