World News Wrapup: 15 December 2020


Pharmacist accused of vaccine sabotage suspended; British domestic abuse safety campaign launched; Israeli pharmacist accidentally receives quadruple dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Wisconsin, US: A pharmacist accused of sabotaging COVID-19 vaccines in his workplace has had his license suspended. In the case reported by AJP on Monday, the hospital pharmacist is alleged to have intentionally removed 57 vials of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine removed from a pharmacy refrigerator at the centre.

His actions are alleged to have resulted in more than 500 doses of vaccine being discarded. Criminal charges are being considered by law enforcement. The Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board has suspended his licence from Wednesday 13 January, with the respondent voluntarily agreeing not to engage in the practice of pharmacy pending final resolution of anticipated or actual criminal proceedings.

 

UK: British pharmacies on Thursday launched a campaign encouraging domestic abuse victims to give staff a code word to access help, according to media reports. People who “discreetly signal” using the code word “ANI” will be offered a private space where they can talk to a trained pharmacy worker who will ask them if they want to immediately get help from police or other support.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the scheme “will ensure victims of domestic abuse can always get help when they need it”.

 

US: Community pharmacies in some US states have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses in preparation for phase 1B of the country’s vaccine strategy. Pharmacies in New York reported they are receiving their first round of doses this week, with some beginning administration from Friday. Pharmacies in Georgia have been receiving stock as well.

Meanwhile one Arkansas pharmacy says it has around 500 people on its wait list to receive the Pfizer vaccine, with phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled to begin in that state on Monday. Pharmacists have already begun vaccinating in West Virginia.

 

Israel: A pharmacist received a quadruple dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 in error, according to The Times of Israel. Maccabi Healthcare Services pharmacist Uday Azizi said he was sent to the hospital for examination and monitoring hours after receiving the vaccine, when officials at Maccabi realised their mistake.

The healthcare worker administering the shot did not realize that each Pfizer vial contains several doses — usually five, but sometimes even more — of the vaccine. Azizi said he had only experienced mild, common side effects so far — local pain and some redness at the injection site. The country’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said nearly 30,000 Israelis have already received vaccines.

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