Ontario Clinic May Have Accidentally Used Saline Solution Instead Of A COVID-19 Dose

Up to 6 people could be affected.

Toronto Staff Writer
Ontario Clinic May Have Accidentally Used Saline Solution Instead Of A COVID-19 Dose

Up to 6 people in Ontario may have been given saline solution instead of a COVID-19 vaccine dose, a public health unit has said.

Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) said in a press release on December 21 that up to 6 people may have been mistakenly injected with a saline solution instead of a vaccine dose at its St. Thomas mass immunization clinic.

It said that on November 30, "approximately 2% of those seen in the clinic on that day" may have received a dose of saline solution.

SWPH explained that saline solution is just a mixture of water and salt commonly used in medicine and poses no threat to people.

"This was due to a human error. No children under the age of 11 were affected. Saline solution is not harmful to humans,'" reads the statement.

SWPH said it will contact and identify the individuals who were a part of the mix-up and acknowledged the stress the incident may cause to those who were immunized at the clinic on November 30.

In the statement, SWPH said it was "an isolated incident" that was "identified quickly."

SWPH said it has taken steps to review its practices to ensure the error doesn't happen again.

The steps include "hourly reconciliation, bundling of vaccine vials with diluent bottles, increased auditing, and additional measures intended to prevent such events in the future."

This isn't the first time a saline solution mix-up has occurred in Ontario. In June 2021, six people were also injected with a saline diluent at the Niagara Region Public Health clinic in Port Colborne and Niagara Region Public Health asked 205 people to get another vaccine dose as a result.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

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