Essential reporting in volatile times.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to the Coal Valley News.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

IMG_0633.JPG

The Boone County Health Department facility, located in Danville.

UPDATE: 

According to a press release from the West Virginia National Guard, an error related to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Boone County would be resolved.

On Dec. 30 the WVNG learned of an error which resulted in 42 people receiving Regeneron Antibody product instead of the Moderna Vaccine. The 42 individuals received the antibody product at a vaccination clinic hosted by staff at the Boone County Health Department.

All individuals that received the antibody have been contacted or are in the process of being contacted, according to the press release. The DHHR will also follow-up regularly with all individuals who received the antibody as an added precaution. These individuals will be offered the vaccine as soon as possible with a priority status the press release stated.

“The moment that we were notified of what happened, we acted right away to correct it, and we immediately reviewed and strengthened our protocols to enhance our distribution process to prevent this from happening again,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard via press release. “I remain incredibly proud of all that our team has accomplished. Our number one goal has been to save lives, and, as we continue to ramp up distribution of the vaccine all across the state, we continue to save more and more lives every single day.”

West Virginia's COVID-19 czar spoke about the situation via a press release.

“The product administered are antibodies that fight COVID-19,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s COVID-19 Czar. “In fact, this product was the same one that was administered to President Trump when he became infected. While this injection is not harmful, it was substituted for the vaccine. But this occurrence provides our leadership team an important opportunity to review and improve the safety and process of vaccination for each West Virginian.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

DANVILLE – The Boone County Health Department and the West Virginia National Guard are answering questions today regarding a blunder that saw 42 doses of what was supposed to be Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines administered to residents of Boone County 80 years-old and above on Wednesday.

What was administered was the Regeneration Antibody product – normally reserved for patients already sick with COVID-19.

The antibodies, according to one local geriatric physician – are used for hospital in-patient settings to fight off acute infection.

Initial reports that two other southern West Virginia counties also received the wrong product but that distribution was halted before it was administered could not be confirmed.

Boone County Health Department Administrator Julie Miller spoke about the mix-up on Thursday morning.

“We picked up the vaccines just like we were supposed to at the hub ( in Charleston),” she said. “We signed the chain of custody, all the numbers matched and we brought it back and if you looked at the bottle, they don’t give you a lot of information on it. We gave what we thought was the vaccine and it ended up being the antibody. It isn’t going to hurt anyone and they will be offered the vaccine today but not through the health department.”

Miller said they were given five vials that ended up being about 50 doses.

“We administered 42 before we got a call from the (West Virginia) National Guard. We had people lined up for it before it arrived because Gov. Justice said it would be available.,” she added.

Miller said that labeling was an issue from her perspective.

“It is labeled in a very different way and when we got our chain of custody paper, it said “Moderna COVID-19 vaccine” and the lot numbers and everything matched.”

In a statement released by the West Virginia National Guard, experts with the Joint Interagency Task Force do not believe there is risk to the 42 individuals and that shipments moving forward would not be affected by the incident.

Miller said that it was her understanding that those who received the antibody product on Dec. 30 instead of the COVID-19 vaccine will be contacted and they will be scheduled to receive the vaccine.

“I just want people to know that we are doing our very best and we are stressed and doing so many things at one time and we don’t like it when there are errors but this is getting very difficult,”