2 Iowa prison nurses fired for giving inmates COVID-19 vaccine overdoses

FORT MADISON, Iowa — Two prison nurses in Fort Madison, Iowa, have been fired for over-vaccinating more than six dozen inmates against COVID-19.

The Iowa Department of Corrections confirmed the terminations Monday, which stemmed from an April 20 incident in which 77 maximum security inmates were given up to six times the proper dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the Des Moines Register reported.

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Although the agency did not publicly identify the prison involved, Iowa State Penitentiary is the department’s only maximum-security men’s prison located in Fort Madison.

Health experts have stated there appears to be no serious side effects if someone gets an extra dose of the vaccine, but there is no data available on the effects of a six-fold overdose, KCCI reported.

“The inmates that received doses in excess of what is recommended have been monitored, and all are in good health based on our medical staff’s assessments,” department spokesman Cord Overton wrote in a Monday email to the Register.

“Facility medical services continue to be available to them if their health status should change,” he added.

The nurses have not been publicly identified.

According to previous reporting by the Register, the overdoses occurred after the facility switched from using Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which comes pre-mixed, to the Pfizer brand, which is shipped as a concentrate and must be mixed with a “substantially diluted” saline solution before being administered.

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