Dozens of inmates at an Iowa prison were the victims of overdoses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine and are now in recovery.
On April 20, at least 77 inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa, suffered the overdoses after nurses inadvertently administered six times the recommended dosage of the vaccine to them, according to The New York Times. The Iowa Department of Corrections temporarily halted the shots and said two nurses were put on administrative leave.
Cord Overton, a prison spokesman, told the Times that none of the inmates had been hospitalized, but that they were suffering from ailments consistent with people who have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, including body aches and low-grade fever.
Since the incident, the distribution of the vaccination has stopped at the prison and the two nurses responsible for distributing the vaccination to inmates are on administrative leave until an investigation is conducted.
Jamie Meyer, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Times that dosing errors involving the Pfizer vaccine had been “rare” and that medical care at prisons presented particular problems because of inadequate staffing.
“When there’s a single nurse practitioner who’s meant to take care of a thousand patients, they often don’t have the same levels of support that you would elsewhere,” she said.
Even though incarcerated people across the country have started to receive the vaccinations, the hesitancy between prison inmates and guards are increasing at an alarming rate which is turning into a public health concern for officials.