MANKATO, Minn. — More than five dozen people were injected with improperly mixed COVID vaccines at a Mankato Hy-Vee. It happened when pharmacy staff incorrectly used Pfizer vaccine mixed with sterile water rather than the special saline solution provided by the drug maker.
Among the 62 patients injected was Greg Brown of Champlin. His son had gotten him the appointment in Mankato, so he drove the hour and a half on Tuesday, eager to get his shot.
“I felt great,” he told KARE 11. “It was a huge relief.”
That sense of relief was shattered later that night when he received a call from Hy-Vee.
“At 7:45 a representative from Hy-Vee called me and said we had a mix-up,” he said.
A Hy-Vee spokesperson confirms to KARE 11 that two pharmacy staff members used vaccine that had been mixed with sterile water.
It’s something the CDC on their website explicitly says not to do.
According to the company’s statement 62 people were injected with the incorrectly mixed vaccine. Hy-Vee said: “After consulting with several third-party physicians working on the vaccination process, we have received confirmation that there is no reason for medical concern. We also have had no patients report any side effects.”
The company went on to say they re-trained staff and are working with the affected patients on the next steps.
Brown says the store hasn’t communicated that to him.
“My worry is what did this first shot do to me? Or not do to me?” he said. Brown says he feels fine, but he’s frustrated neither Hy-Vee nor medical professions have been able to tell him if the faulty shot he received still protects him or if he is able to get another.
“We’re sitting here waiting by the phone,” he said.
In the meantime, his name has come up on two other vaccine lotteries. In both cases, Brown has had to turn down a shot – not knowing if it’s safe to take another one.
He had looked forward to being fully vaccinated and going back to substitute teaching and other activities “I would have been able to do a lot more things. “I could have in 3 weeks start seeing some grandkids,” he said. Instead, he waits.
Despite the setback, Brown is as determined as ever to get his shot. “I want the vaccine. I want everybody to take the vaccine. Get it,” he said. “Just because I had a major mix-up doesn’t preclude other people from getting the vaccine.”