Multiple patients at a CVS pharmacy in Massachusetts were given wrong dosages of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Monday.

A CVS spokesman told that the drug store in Ipswich – 30 miles from Boston – gave some people a 0.3 mililiter (mL) dose instead of the correct 0.5 mL dose recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is 40 percent lower than the dose they should have received. 

It is unclear how many patients were affected by the error but the spokesman described it as ‘a limited number.’

‘We have contacted all affected patients to apologize for this incident and answer any questions they might have,’ the spokesman said. 

‘We’ve reported it to the appropriate regulatory agencies and have taken the necessary steps to prevent this from occurring again.’

A CVS in Ipswich, Massachusetts (pictured), gave a ‘limited number of patients’ the wrong dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Monday

Patients were given a 0.3 mililiter (mL) dose, 40% lower than the correct 0.5 mL dose recommended by CDC. Pictured: Three vials of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at a vaccination center in Berlin, Germany, February 17

Doctors and the CDC say that as long a patient’s first shot is a half-dose, or 0.25 mL, they will be fully protected once they receive a second dose. The U.S. is currently vaccinating between 1.6 and 1.7 million people a day

Carol Kennedy Hurley, from Arlington, was one of the patients who was given the incorrect dosage at the Ipswich CVS.

She told WCVB that she received a call from a pharmacist at the location and was told she was given the 0.3 mL that is recommended for the Pfizer shot rather than the Moderna one.

‘A certain amount of the people that went in on Monday did not get the right dosage,’ she said.

‘The pharmacist who was working at CVS on Monday had been, prior to that, distributing the Pfizer vaccine and he inadvertently must have got mixed up.’ 

Doctors say that receiving at least half a dose – 0.25 mL – will still offer protection until it’s time for the scheduled second dose

‘It’s still likely going to be still effective, but we don’t have a lot of data,’ Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, told in an e-mail.

Hotez added that Dr Moncef Slaoui, the head of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program, ‘even said that giving a half dose may even be an acceptable strategy.’ 

Recently, a study using Moderna’s Phase II trial data was published in the journal Vaccine, suggesting the company’s coronavirus shot may still trigger a strong immune response even via half doses.

Researchers looked at levels of antibodies that bind to the spike protein – which the virus uses to infect cells – and levels of neutralizing antibodies that kill the virus.

They found both the current two-dose regimen and half that amount were capable of eliciting ‘significant’ immune responses. 

However, health officials do not recommend that patients be given half-doses of the vaccine at this time. 

As of Thursday, 41 million Americans – 12.5% of the population – have received one dose and 16.1 million – 4.9% of the population – are fully immunized

At least 73 million doses have been delivered, with President Joe Biden currently on track to meet goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office 

The CVS spokesperson told that, based on CDC and clinical guidance, it is not recommended that patients affected by the error receive a third dose. 

Those who were given the 0.3 mL dose can get their second, and last, shot next month, and will still have full protection.

Kennedy Hurley told WCVB she has an appointment for her final dose scheduled in four weeks.

‘I think it’s really important that the people that are doing the vaccinations are really cognizant of the fact that, if they don’t do it correctly, people are going to assume they’re okay and they’re not,’ she said.

Currently, the U.S. is vaccinating average of between 1.6 and 1.7 million Americans per day against COVID-19, an increase from under one million a month ago.  

President Joe Biden is currently on track to meet his goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office – but the pace must accelerated to reach his plan to vaccinate nearly all adults by the end of the summer.

As of Thursday, 41 million Americans – 12.5 percent of the population – have received one dose and 16.1 million – 4.9 percent of the population – are fully immunized

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