A Panel of Judges Rejects $1 Million Payments to Inmates Who Received Vaccination Overdoses

A state board denied claims for $1 million in compensation for 52 offenders who received six times the recommended dose of COVID-19 vaccine last year.

The claims from detainees who received the extra dosages in April 2021 were unanimously dismissed by the three-member State Appeals Board, which evaluates state legal financial obligations. The 52 inmates seeking a $1 million settlement were among 77 inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison who had received overdoses of the Pfizer vaccination from prison nursing staff.

The board, comprised of State Auditor Rob Sand, State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, and Iowa Department of Management Director Kraig Paulsen, adopted the Iowa attorney general’s office lawyers’ decision to deny the claims.

According to the lawyers, the state is immune from claims originating from the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.

The incorrect doses happened when the vaccine was provided in concentrate form, which should have been diluted with saline solution.

Following the event, two nurses were fired. According to a spokeswoman for the prison staff union, the overdoses occurred when the institution quickly switched from utilizing the Moderna vaccination to the Pfizer version. Pfizer’s vaccinations are packaged in six-dose vials that must be diluted with saline solution before use. Moderna’s vaccine does not need to be diluted.

Before beginning to administer shots, the nurses were given 90 minutes warning and no training on how the new vaccines were to be manufactured and distributed, according to Price.

According to a representative for the prison department, the government wants its nurses to be able to read and follow instructions for delivering vaccines to persons in their care.

According to a correctional spokeswoman, the convicts experienced usual vaccine side effects such as discomfort at the injection site, bodily aches, exhaustion, and fever.

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