Minnesota Hy-Vee administers incorrectly diluted COVID-19 vaccine to 62 patients

A Hy-Vee pharmacy in Mankato, Minnesota incorrectly administered the COVID-19 vaccine to 62 patients, according to a statement from Hy-Vee.

Pharmacy staff members at the Riverfront Hy-Vee diluted the Pfizer vaccine with a sterile water injection instead of the saline diluent provided by Pfizer.

So far, the affected patients have not reported any side effects. Hy-Vee consulted independent doctors, who said there is "no reason for medical concern."

Hy-Vee has reached out to those impacted, including 66-year-old Greg Brown of Champlin who got his first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday at the pharmacy. Now, he's waiting for answers.

"We’re on the phone with Pfizer for over two hours, waiting to get an answer from Pfizer," said Brown. "Finally they say, we don’t have enough data. This has not been studied. No data whatsoever."

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Brown and the other impacted patients, likely won't need to re-vaccinate or get another vaccine, but are waiting to hear back from the CDC and Pfizer.

While Brown says the wait for clarity is unnerving, he doesn't want his experience to scare others away from getting the vaccine.

"Everyone needs to get a shot, mistakes happen, there’s no life-threatening injuries," said Brown. "I’m just kinda not comfortable with, 'Oh a pharmacist will get back to you.' No, that’s not acceptable right now."

According to Hy-Vee, all pharmacy staff at the Riverfront Hy-Vee have been retrained on how to administer the vaccine.

Full statement from Hy-Vee:

Hy-Vee recently received information that our Riverfront Hy-Vee pharmacy in Mankato had an oversight when administering the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 62 patients. Two pharmacy staff members used vaccines mixed with a sterile water injection diluent – which is commonly used to dilute injections, rather than the saline diluent provided by Pfizer. After consulting with several third-party physicians working on the vaccination process, we have received confirmation that there is no reason for medical concern. We also have had no patients report any side effects. 
As soon as we were made aware of the incident, we started personally calling the affected patients. We have reached out to the manufacturer and are working with each of the patients on next steps. We also have reported this information to the appropriate regulatory agencies and have retrained all of our pharmacy staff members at this location. 
We remain committed to playing an important role in administering the COVID-19 vaccine in our local communities.