Preventable Maryland Pharmacy Errors in Vaccine Administration

Following the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) endorsement of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (“ACIP”) recommendation that children six months through 5 years should receive a COVID-19 vaccine, many people are flocking to their doctors and local pharmacies to obtain the vaccine. However, this news comes amid a significant pharmacy worker shortage. As such, in an attempt to avoid a Maryland pharmacy error lawsuit, many chains are reconsidering whether they will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to children under the age of 5.

For instance, recent news outlets reported that Publix would not offer coronavirus vaccines to children under 5 “at this time.” A spokesperson for the chain grocery and pharmacy store declined to elaborate on their decision; however, the website indicates that the store is continuing to accept appointments for children five and older.

Despite some retailers and pharmacies’ reluctance to vaccinate young children, many pharmacies can do so safely and effectively. However, given the current supply chain issues and worker shortages, pharmacies must take steps to prevent errors. When a pharmacy fails to do so, it may be liable for any ensuing damages or injuries.

What Are the Causes of Vaccine Errors?

Vaccine administration errors can vary in severity; however, even the slightest misstep can have disastrous consequences on a patient. Some common mistakes that can lead to an injury include:

  • Failing to use a screening checklist to identify contraindications and precautions. Pharmacists should use a reliable screening questionnaire to avoid giving a vaccine to a patient for whom it is contraindicated or to avoid missing an opportunity to vaccinate because of a false contraindication.
  • Administrating the incorrect vaccine because of similarities in names. Pharmacies should train their staff to check the vial at least three times.
  • Using the incorrect diluent or administrating the medication without a diluent.
  • Administrating an expired vaccine. Pharmacies should not administer a vaccine even if it is only one day over its expiration date.
  • Administrating a vaccine at the wrong site or by the incorrect mechanism.
  • Administering a vaccine dose earlier or later than the recommended interval or age.

Those who suspect their injuries may stem from a vaccine administration error or another pharmacy error should contact an attorney to learn about their rights and remedies. An attorney can help injury vicitms and their families report the vaccine administration error and seek compensation for any damages.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Pharmacist?

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or died because of a negligent Maryland healthcare professional, contact the experienced attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The lawyers on our team have extensive experience successfully advocating for individuals and their families who have suffered damages because of a negligent healthcare provider. In addition to Maryland pharmacy error matters, our firm handles cases involving motor vehicle accidents, premise liability, and nursing home negligence. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.

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