6 people injected with saline instead of COVID-19 vaccine in York Region

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The organization says individuals were tested for antibodies to identify who might need to be re-injected, but does not indicate how saline could have been administered instead of vaccine.  (Stephane Mahe/Reuters - image credit)
The organization says individuals were tested for antibodies to identify who might need to be re-injected, but does not indicate how saline could have been administered instead of vaccine. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters - image credit)

Six people in York Region who believed they were receiving the COVID-19 vaccine were in fact injected with saline, officials say.

In a statement posted online Monday, Mackenzie Health said the six individuals visited its vaccination clinic on March 28.

Saline is used to dilute the COVID-19 vaccine before administration. And while the solution does not cause any harm in and of itself, "this should not have happened," the statement said.

The organization said individuals were tested for antibodies to identify who might need to be re-injected, but did not indicate how saline could have been administered instead of vaccine.

"Our internal quality assurance processes allowed us to identify this issue in a timely manner and contact the impacted individuals to disclose the issue," the statement added.

"We sincerely apologize for the error and for the uncertainty and concern this situation has caused," it said.

"We have undertaken a full review of our processes and have implemented additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again."

The organization did not specify what additional safeguards have been put in place.