A New Hampshire man was accidentally given a different COVID-19 vaccine at his second appointment than he received during his first one.
However, when he returned four weeks later to complete his vaccine series, he was accidentally given the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.
Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning Americans not to mix and match shots from the two companies, state health officials insist Richards will be fine.
Craig Richards (pictured), from Lempster, New Hampshire, received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during his first appointment on March 16
Four weeks later, he returned for his second appointment and was accidentally given a Pfizer coronavirus shot (pictured)
According to WMUR 9, Richards received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the state-run West Lebanon site on March 16.
Four weeks later, on Tuesday, April 13, he returned with his CDC indicating the vaccine he had gotten to receive his second dose.
‘[The medic] said: “You ready for a poke?” I said: “Sure,” and he poked me,’ Richards told the station.
‘As soon as he poked me, he looked down at my card, and I think he realized he just gave me the Pfizer.’
‘I looked at him and said: “You did not just give me the wrong shot.” And he bolted! I don’t know if I had a real angry face on.’
The medic went to go get the supervisor on site, who came over and spoke with Richards
Richards said a supervisor came over and talked to him.
‘[The supervisor said]: “You’re going to be fine. The good news is, you are fully vaccinated,” and I’m just like: “This isn’t happening,”‘ Richards said.
Current CDC recommendations suggest a person only receive a second shot of different vaccine in ‘exceptional situations.’
‘These mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable with each other or with other COVID-19 vaccine products,’ the CDC writes on its website.
‘The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.
‘In exceptional situations in which the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses.’
On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services released a statement to WMUR 0 that states Richards will be fine.
‘A mixed series is safe, as CDC guidance recommends mixing the series if the brand from the first dose is not available at the second dose,’ the statement read.
‘While there have not been any clinical studies on whether a mixed series is as effective as a complete series, it will still provide enough protection that a third dose is not necessary or recommended.’
Meanwhile, in Europe, health authorities have been considering allowing people to mix and match doses in order to drive up vaccination rates.
In addition, on Wednesday, a major UK trial testing whether or COVID-19 vaccines can be safely mixed was expanded.
Originally, researchers were injecting volunteers with a dose of the AstraZeneca–University of Oxford vaccine followed by a Pfizer dose a few weeks later and vice versa.
Under the expansion, volunteers will now be tested with a cocktail of the Moderna vaccine and the Novavax vaccine.