The antibody treatment, developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is designed to prevent people infected with covid-19, the disease caused the coronavirus, from developing severe illness. It was given to President Trump when he was stricken by the virus in October and granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration in November.
State officials highlighted its use by the president in stressing that the mix-up would not have dangerous consequences.
“In fact, this product was the same one that was administered to President Trump when he became infected,” said Clay Marsh, coordinator of West Virginia’s coronavirus task force. “While this injection is not harmful, it was substituted for the vaccine.”
Marsh did not elaborate on what caused the error but said it “provides our leadership team an important opportunity to review and improve the safety and process of vaccination for each West Virginian.”
The mistake is highly unusual because Regeneron’s drug, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, is given by infusion, rather than as a shot. Much of the medication has gone unused because of logistical complexities involved in its delivery. Hospitals and health departments battling a surge of covid-19 infections have not had the resources to plan for the drug’s administration, or to muster the workforce needed to monitor patients for rare allergic reactions.
Now, the same medical providers are adding vaccination to their portfolio.
West Virginia’s vaccination effort is unique in relying heavily on its National Guard. The unit’s leader, James Hoyer, is heading the campaign, which has already successfully brought shots to every long-term care facility in the state, officials say.
But the episode highlights missteps happening across the country, as the most ambitious vaccination campaign in U.S. history gets underway. Just 21 percent of the 12.4 million doses distributed as of Wednesday have been put into people’s arms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those figures, which Trump administration officials insist lag behind the actual number of vaccinations, mean just 1 in 125 Americans have received an initial shot of protection
“We need to remember that these are new vaccines on new platforms with slightly complex requirements for storage, handling and administration,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a Wednesday briefing.
Errors so far have mostly been unintentional. More striking was the announcement Wednesday by Aurora Health Care that an employee at a hospital outside Milwaukee had “intentionally” removed more than 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine from a pharmacy refrigerator, causing the material to spoil.
View original article here Source