Home / Health / 77 inmates in Iowa prisons received an overdose of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.

77 inmates in Iowa prisons received an overdose of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.



Authorities said dozens of inmates in Iowa prisons received an overdose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Where: 21 April 2021

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Two medical staff from the Iowa Department of Corrections improperly administered the vaccine, developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German company BioNTech, to 77 inmates at the Iowa State Prison. The maximum for men is located in Fort Madison, about 90 miles southeast of Iowa City. The dose exceeded the vaccine manufacturer’s recommended dosage, according to Cord Overton, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections.



Building side sign


© Ben Roberts / The Hawk Eye via AP, FILE


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Knowing of the error, the Iowa Department of Corrections immediately contacted Pfizer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for advice.Both Pfizer and the CDC said no significant side effects were expected, but affected inmates should be monitored. Closely for at least 48 hours, according to Overton.

ABC News has reached out to Pfizer, BioNTech and the CDC for comment.



Building Side Sign: Photograph on August 12, 2016, showing a view from a central field at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa.


© Ben Roberts / The Hawk Eye via AP, FILE
A photograph on Aug. 12, 2016, shows a view from a central field at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Affected inmates have been reported to the error and are being monitored closely by medical staff. The Iowa Department of Corrections plans to perform routine medical examinations over several days. Until now, the only side effect that inmates experienced was the one often associated with Pfizer vaccine, Overton said.

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The Iowa Department of Corrections has temporarily suspended two doses of the vaccine at an Iowa prison pending investigation. Two officers who made the mistake were given government leave in the meantime, according to Overton.

Currently, 200 inmates at Iowa State Prison have been shot in the first and 48 inmates have been shot a second. Across the Iowa Department of Corrections, 1,964 inmates received the first drug and 214 inmates received the second drug, according to Overton.

ABC News’ Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.

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