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Dispensing Error at St. Thomas Mass Immunization Clinic

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Southwestern Public Health worked closely with Public Health Ontario to investigate a dispensing error at its St. Thomas mass immunization clinic on November 30. Up to 6 individuals (approximately 2% of those seen in the clinic on that day) may have received a dose of saline solution – which is a mixture of water and salt often used in medicine – instead of a COVID-19 vaccine. This was due to a human error. No children under the age of 11 were affected. Saline solution is not harmful to humans.

Southwestern Public Health is committed to following advice from Public Health Ontario to identify and contact the individuals who may have received the saline and will work with those affected on a resolution.

We acknowledge the stress this will cause individuals vaccinated on November 30 at the St. Thomas clinic. Please be assured that this matter was identified quickly and is an isolated incident.

Southwestern Public Health took immediate steps to review its quality assurance practices at all vaccination clinics to ensure this error does not happen again. This includes hourly reconciliation, bundling of vaccine vials with diluent bottles, increased auditing, and additional measures intended to prevent such events in the future.

Southwestern Public Health