Coronavirus: 42 mistakenly given Regeneron antibody treatment instead of vaccine in West Virginia

Coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know

Dozens of people in West Virginia mistakenly got shots of Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody treatment instead of the vaccine developed by Moderna, the West Virginia National Guard announced Thursday.

Officials said 42 people were mistakenly given shots of the antibody treatment at a vaccination clinic hosted by staff at the Boone County Health Department. The West Virginia National Guard learned of the mistake Wednesday. On Thursday, officials said they were reaching out to everyone affected.

Content Continues Below

Medical experts said those who were given the antibody treatment were not likely to be harmed by the drug, which is designed to prevent people infected with COVID-19 from developing severe illness. Officials said those affected will be offered the vaccine “as soon as possible with a priority status.”

“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,” Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, said Thursday.

The 42 erroneous antibody shots accounted for about .5% of all 7,855 vaccination doses administered across the state Wednesday, according to the West Virginia National Guard. As of Friday morning, officials said just over 49,000 people had gotten their first COVID-19 vaccination shots in West Virginia.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, health officials have confirmed about 88,000 cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia. About 1,400 people have died of the viral infection in the state.

The U.S. continues to lead the world with nearly 20 million cases of COVID-19 reported, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The virus has claimed about 346,000 lives nationwide.

Regulators in the U.S. have authorized emergency use of a pair of vaccines aimed at fighting COVID-19, one developed by Moderna and the other developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. At least three other vaccines are in late-stage testing.