A 67-year-old woman from Jerusalem received five doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, The Jerusalem Post has confirmed.Instead of receiving one dose during the inoculation process, she was accidentally given an entire vial – 150 micrograms.Although she showed no side effects, she was still evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for observation. A spokesperson for the hospital said that she was doing well.The woman received the vaccination at a Maccabi Healthcare Services vaccination center in the center of town.This is not the first incident in which Maccabi staff administered too many doses of the Pfizer vaccine.A medical professional received an estimated five or six doses of the coronavirus vaccine in one inoculation in December at the start of the country’s vaccination campaign. He, too, was monitored at a hospital directly afterward, showed no side effects, and was discharged the same day.“This happens for a very simple reason,” explained Prof. Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar-Ilan University. “After so many patients, the nurse, who is used to sometimes injecting the whole contents of the vile – not for this vaccine, but in general – makes a mistake and takes the whole compound instead. I am surprised it has happened only twice.”
In both instances, as noted, the individuals who received the extra doses had little or no side effects, except perhaps at the site of the injection. Cohen said that no side effects should be expected, since Pfizer administered three to four times more than the regular dose given today when it ran its clinical trials, which was tolerated by most patients.“An optional dose is one that does not cause secondary effects on the one hand, but stimulates the immune system on the other,” Cohen explained. At the same time, the aim is to use the minimal amount so as to be able to produce more vaccines.The Pfizer dose is 30 micrograms of vaccine. Moderna has a much larger dose: 100 micrograms.Why ship the vaccines in vials of multiple doses if it risks overdosing?“If you put every 30-microgram dose into a single vile, then your shipment would be five times the volume,” Cohen said. He added that the Moderna version is shipped in vials of 10 doses each.As of now, Cohen pointed out, the chances remain only one in a million of being jabbed with the entire vial.