Woman given two Covid-19 shots in one sitting, probe ordered
Mere minutes apart, a 48-year-old woman was administered two doses of the coronavirus vaccine at a health care centre in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district while the auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) was speaking over the phone and allegedly forgot she had already given one shot, according to the recipient’s complaint to district officials.
Kamlesh Devi received the Covishield vaccine; of which the second dose is supposed to be given 4-8 weeks after the first is administered. India has so far approved two vaccines: Covaxin and Covishield, both two-dose shots.
District magistrate JP Singh has formed a three-member team of doctors to probe the incident that took place at the Madauli primary health centre (PHC) in the district’s Akbarpur area on Friday.
The condition of the woman is stable. Her right arm is swollen (a normal symptom after vaccination), and she is currently under observation by doctors at her residence in Madauli village, said her husband Vipin Kumar.
“The standard dose for the AstraZeneca vaccine (Covishield is the Indian version of the same) is 5x10^10 viral particles per dose. There are no reported cases of overdose of this vaccine, but the packet insert says that there is no specific treatment for it. The person will just have to be monitored and given symptomatic treatment as appropriate. From what I understand, the person would still need a booster dose four to eight weeks later to generate an optimal immune response,” said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the department of epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research.
He added, “There have been instances of overdose documented with the Pfizer vaccine. There were some people in Brisbane, Australia, who received four times the recommended dose and eight health care workers in Germany who were administered five times the dose by error. Four of the eight persons in Germany were admitted to a hospital; they had flu-like symptoms.”
According to the complaint to the health care centre incharge, Dr Rakesh Kumar, Devi said the ANM, identified only as Archana, was busy on a phone call when she injected Devi with two doses one after the other.
Devi alleged that when she pointed out the lapse, Archana reprimanded her, asking why the 48-year-old woman had not left after getting the first shot. HT has reviewed a copy of the complaint.
After the incident, the woman’s family members protested at the centre, and alerted the district magistrate and chief medical officer Dr Rajesh Katiyar.
Katiyar said a panel of doctors had begun questioning the ANM and other staff members at the centre, and will submit a report to the DM in the coming days.
The centre incharge, Dr Rakesh Kumar, too, said he had recommended the probe.
With inputs from Anonna Dutt in New Delhi