CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Kroger is apologizing after staff at a Midlothian Turnpike location administered shots full of nothing instead of vaccines this week.
While a spokesperson for Kroger said less than ten people received these shots, what happened is still raising questions.
On Wednesday, a Kroger spokesperson said that their The Little Clinic location at 14101 Midlothian Turnpike made the mistake of administering these shots. They said the health care professional giving the shots was under the impression that a colleague had filled the syringes prior to the appointments.
The grocery chain is getting heat on social media, with many people asking how this could have happened. The vaccine is typically very visible inside of syringes.
There was also confusion over what was given to people. Early reports indicated the people had been given saline injections. A spokesperson for Kroger later said the syringes were actually empty.
“When we look at vaccine providers, the goal is correct procedures and administration of the vaccine,” said VCU professor and community pharmacist Dr. Kelly Goode.
She added that vaccine providers should make sure they’re following the best practices to administer vaccines at all times, as outlined by the VDH.
Despite what happened at the Kroger, Dr. Goode said generally speaking, she believes a vast majority of vaccines are being administered correctly throughout the state and country.
The Virginia Department of Health responded to what happened on Thursday, telling 8News that, “As soon as Kroger realized that the event occurred, Kroger responded by contacting the individuals impacted.”
Everyone who did not receive a vaccine upon their first visit was called back to the clinic to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, according to the spokesperson. He also said the issue was addressed with staff and vaccinators and The Little Clinic workers have been retrained to give vaccines.
The spokesperson told 8News that Virginia Department of Health has been working with them on this issue. However, neither VDH nor the Kroger spokesperson would expand on that.
Dozens on social media are expressing concern for the affected people. Can getting a shot of nothing be harmful? The VDH says no.
“There were no harmful risks related to the syringes used,” the department said. The doses go into the arm’s deltoid muscles, not veins.
If what happened this week makes you afraid to get the vaccine, Dr.Goode said you can always ask for more information before getting your shot.
“I encourage people to get the vaccine. If you’re hesitant about what you’re getting, ask to see the vile that it came from,” she said.
While 8News reached out to the grocery chain for more information, neither Kroger nor its representative made time for an interview on Thursday.