CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Kroger location in Virginia administered shots with empty syringes to multiple patients scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine.
A Kroger spokesperson tells 8News that their The Little Clinic location at 14101 Midlothian Turnpike made the mistake of administering these shots. They said the health care professional giving the shots was under the impression that a colleague had filled the syringes prior to the appointments.
“Less than 10” people got a shot of nothing, according to the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said previous statements from the grocery chain about the syringes being filled with saline were found to be incorrect after a more in-depth investigation.
The Virginia Department of Health responded to what happened on Thursday, telling 8News that, “As soon as Kroger realized that the event occurred, Kroger responded by contacting the individuals impacted. There were no harmful risks related to the syringes used. VDH has weekly meetings with pharmacy partners.”
Everyone who did not receive a vaccine upon their first visit was called back to the clinic to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
The spokesperson tells 8News that Virginia Department of Health has been working with them on this issue.
The issue was addressed with staff and vaccinators and The Little Clinic workers have been retrained to give vaccines.
The statement from Kroger says, “We apologize for this oversight and the inconvenience caused for these customers.”
Throughout the vaccination process, clinics at Kroger locations have administered around 836,000 vaccines.
Local residents who heard about the incident offered a mixture of emotions. James Millner, who got his COVID-19 vaccine at the same Kroger location, says he believes mistakes are inevitable.
“This is a Herculean effort by the government and private industry working together to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Mistakes are going to happen in this process, I think that should be expected,” Millner said. “But I think we should take it in stride, and it should certainly not deter anybody from seeking the vaccine or getting the vaccine.”
Another resident voiced concerns, saying she was worried people could be hesitant about getting the vaccine after the mistake.
Zena Vruce says, “There’s already people having problems already about, you know, ‘should I take it or should I not?'”
Vruce said the empty shots seemed “a little reckless” and wonders how someone did not notice the syringes were not full of vaccine.
Check back for more updates on this developing story