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Mercer County Health Department addresses incorrect dosages

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 4:49 PM EST
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MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - After a stunning revelation from Governor Jim Justice’s press briefing on Friday. A key takeaway from the briefing was that some health departments in the state were giving out full doses for the moderna booster instead of the recommended half dose.

Among those health departments was the one in Mercer County.

“We made a mistake. We called them and let them know what happened. Like I said we’re owning up to it. It was an accident, wasn’t meant to be. We missed a memo and now we’re having to go through this because of that.”

Roger Topping, Mercer County Health Department Administrator

Topping said they discovered the error when a woman posted a question on their website about the moderna booster being half a dose. Topping said that question triggered the realization they were doubling the recommended dosage of the moderna booster shot.

He says this happened last Thursday and they took action immediately by reporting it those higher up in the state. There’s little doubt this kind of error could have a chilling effect on those considering vaccination, so we asked some residents about it.

“It does deter me from getting my booster because it’s concerning because I don’t know what kind of concerns that might cause on my health. You know until they get it right. I will be hesitant to get the booster myself.”

Gabrielle Ponder, concerned citizen

“It should concern everybody. Is this not an act of malpractice? You go to the doctor for a shot and they double dose you, come on.”

Richard Marshall, concerned citizen

According to Bluefield surgeon, Dr. Frederick Barker, he spoke with moderna officials to learn more about the effects of receiving a full dose of a booster vs. half a dose.

“From what I’ve been able to determine so far and again I’m not an expert at this thing. It does not appear as though the patients who received that should be adversely effected.”

Dr. Frederick Barker, Surgeon

Topping insisted this was an isolated incident limited to their vaccine clinic on October 28. He says no other clinics were impacted. Members of the health department are set to under go additional training Tuesday to correct the issue.

Once the training is complete, Topping says he’s hoping the Mercer County Health Department can resume their vaccination clinics next week. He added that somewhere around two hundred people received the incorrect dosages at the clinic.

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