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Wood County parents sue over alleged improper COVID-19 vaccine dose

PARKERSBURG — Two Davisville parents have filed a lawsuit alleging their teenage son suffered immediate and lasting side effects after receiving an improper dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a local pharmacy.

The complaint was filed June 24 in Wood County Circuit Court, one year after the plaintiffs say a student-employee at the Kroger pharmacy in south Parkersburg administered an undiluted dose of the vaccine to their 15-year-old child.

A Kroger corporate spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit at this time. The company had not filed a response to the suit as of Tuesday afternoon.

According to the complaint, filed on the behalf of John and Maria Louden by South Carolina attorney Brian J. Headley, Maria Louden was contacted by a pharmacist from the store the same day the shot was received. He said the CDC-recommended dose of the Pfizer vaccine was 0.3 mL, but this dose had not been diluted, resulting in the teen receiving a dosage “more than five times the recommended amount.”

“Over the following two days, (their son) suffered from side effects of the overdose, including high fever, severe nausea, headaches, body aches and dizziness,” the complaint said.

As time went on, it says, their son experienced “fatigue, frequent headaches and a general ‘brain fogginess.'” The complaint says he continues to struggle daily “with forgetfulness and difficulty focusing on tasks.”

The lawsuit indicates the pharmacist told the Loudens two other improper doses were administered the same day. Headley, a Williamstown native who still does medical malpractice and personal injury work in the area despite living in South Carolina, said he did not have additional information about those individuals.

Representatives of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the federal Food and Drug Administration declined to comment on this story because it involves a lawsuit, but pointed to general information about the vaccine and dilution.

According to a fact sheet from the CDC, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 12 and older should be diluted with a 0.9 percent preservative-free saline solution. It says 1.8 millileters of the diluent should be injected into the vaccine vial.

There is not a great deal of information on the CDC and FDA websites about potential side effects from an undiluted dose. That’s apparently because the FDA and manufacturer analyses were done on the authorized, diluted formulation.

Errors in administration of the vaccine and any adverse events are to be reported to the FDA and the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System maintained by the FDA and CDC.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for the damages and injuries suffered, as well as attorney’s fees.

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