West Virginia accidentally gives 42 people COVID-19 treatment instead of vaccine

West Virginia accidentally gives 42 people COVID-19 treatment instead of vaccine

The West Virginia National Guard admitted Thursday that 42 people expecting to receive the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 were instead accidentally given the Regeneron antibody used to treat infections.

The mistake occurred at a vaccination clinic hosted by staff at the Boone County Health Department, and all of the people who accidentally received the wrong product are being contacted by the department, the National Guard said in a statement. 

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Medical experts with the Joint Interagency Task Force said they do not believe the individuals given the wrong injection are at risk of any harm.

“The moment that we were notified of what happened, we acted right away to correct it, and we immediately reviewed and strengthened our protocols to enhance our distribution process to prevent this from happening again,” Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, said in a statement.

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Regeneron has been touted by President Trump as helping to cure him of COVID-19 when he contracted the virus in November.

Shortly after, the Food and Drug Administration greenlighted emergency use of the experimental treatment, which involves monoclonal antibodies or manufactured copies of antibodies created by the human body to help fight infections.

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“The products administered are antibodies that fight COVID-19,” Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s COVID-19 czar, said in a statement. “While this injection is not harmful, it was substituted for the vaccine. But this occurrence provides our leadership team an important opportunity to review and improve the safety and process of vaccination for each West Virginian.” 

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