SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento woman said she fully expected to get her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday at the Wellspace Health Clinic in Oak Park, but it was not until after she was injected that she realized the nurse had given her the wrong dose.
Rose Goldenberg’s first round had gone off without a hitch on April 9, she said.
“They gave me the information about the vaccine itself, what side effects I could experience, and if I experience the really bad ones, to go to the ER,” Goldenberg recounted.
Aside from a sore arm and fatigue, Goldenberg said she felt ready to get her second and final shot, but the process took an unexpected turn.
On that day, she went in and got the paperwork to fill out, checking off the “yes, I’ve had the vaccine before” and Pfizer vaccine options.
“But I guess all they had ready at that point were Moderna, and that’s what I ended up getting,” she said. “And I didn’t find out about it until after he had already administered the shot and the 15-minute wait period.”
Goldenberg said they also wrote it on her vaccine card, which shows Pfizer and Moderna given three weeks apart.
When it comes to COVID-19 vaccine mixing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Pfizer and Moderna are both similar in that they are mRNA vaccines. However, they and other COVID-19 vaccines should not be interchangeable, unless there is an exceptional need to do so.
A statement from Wellspace Health’s chief informational officer repeated the CDC guidelines but added:
If two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are administered, the CDC states that no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time. If this situation were to occur, the person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receipt of their second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
There is no harm to the patient and no further action is required.
However, Goldenberg said she was told something completely different after getting the wrong dose.
“They told me, ‘Oh, we’ll call if we need to get you in for another dose later of one of the other,'” she recalled.
Thankfully, Goldenberg only had mild side effects from the Moderna vaccine, but she is still left with many questions and concerns for others who may have also gotten the wrong vaccine that day.
“Make sure you’re getting the second shot that you’re supposed to get, not get them mixed because you never know: Someone else could react differently than I did,” she advised.
Due to HIPAA regulations, Wellspace Health could not comment on Goldenberg’s specific situation or if there could be more incidents like hers.