180. Vaccine overdose? Israeli pharmacist hospitalized after accidentally receiving FOUR doses
An Israeli pharmacist who was mistakenly injected with four doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 jab was taken to the hospital so he could be monitored, but so far he has reported only minor side effects.
Uday Azizi told Israeli media he was feeling fine hours after being administered the vaccine, which is supposed to be given in two doses several weeks apart. The healthcare worker responsible for the unfortunate mishap was reportedly unaware that each vial of the drug typically contains at least five doses.
The pharmacist was transported to the hospital as a safety precaution after the mistake was spotted.
Despite receiving the super-sized dose, Azizi said that so far he has only experienced local pain and redness at the injection site. It’s likely that the pharmacist will still have to get the second shot in three weeks, but he seemed unworried and even told Israel’s Channel 12 that he had “no problem” with taking another four doses.
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“Let’s be optimistic… about the vaccine, the entire situation, and the new year maybe,” Azizi said.
Israel began a nationwide inoculation drive on Sunday, with medical workers receiving priority for the jab. People aged 60 and older were invited to receive the jab starting on Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched the program by becoming the first Israeli to be administered the recently-approved vaccine, jointly developed by US pharma giant Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. So far, around 30,000 Israelis have been vaccinated, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
If Azizi remains in good health, his unusual case could potentially help persuade Israelis that the jab is safe. A recent poll found that a large majority of them were not interested in getting the jab right away. The survey, conducted by Ynet News, found less than 25 percent of respondents were eager to immediately participate in the inoculation initiative.
The Israeli government has marketed the vaccine as a way to reopen the country and has even signaled that those who take the jab will be granted certain privileges. ‘Green’ passports will be issued to people after they receive the second dose, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said last week, adding that the new form of identification will “free people from isolation [requirement]” and “allow [people] to enter places that will still be restricted to other populations.”
The Pfizer jab has received emergency approval in several nations, but its rushed development and certification has prompted some concerns, even as health authorities continue to insist that the vaccine is safe. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that it was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate multiple cases of the vaccine triggering allergic reactions.