West Virginia county health department banned from giving COVID-19 vaccines

Boone County Health Department in West Virginia has been banned by the state from giving COVID-19 vaccines since late December after the department accidentally gave doses of a COVID-19 antibody drug to patients instead of the vaccine, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. 

Allison Adler, a spokesperson for the state's Department of Health and Human Resources, told the Gazette-Mail that the health department will be allowed to distribute vaccines again after Health and Human Resources completes a "clinical monitoring visit," which the department expects to take place this week. 

"The intent of this process is to provide agency leadership and clinical personnel with recommendations for improving patient care practices and outcomes and the utilizations of agency resources," Ms. Adler said.

With the Boone County Health Department unable to give vaccines, only one facility, Madison Medical, is administering COVID-19 vaccines in Boone County, the Gazette-Mail reported. More than 20 percent of the county's residents are over the age of 65, meaning they are at high risk for the virus. 

Forty-two residents of the county were mistakenly given an antibody drug instead of the vaccine at the health department Dec. 30. The mix-up happened after a box the health department received from the National Guard marked "Moderna COVID-19 vaccines" actually contained the antibody treatments. 

It’s unclear how the antibody drugs were placed in an incorrectly labeled box, what policies are under review at the Boone County Health Department regarding the mix-up or what changes the National Guard has made to prevent this from occurring again, the Gazette-Mail reported. 

Those who received the antibody drugs were offered the vaccines the next day. 

Read the full article here.

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