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Monroe Walgreens pharmacy distributes saline, not vaccine, to 22

RALEIGH (AP) — A Walgreens pharmacy in a North Carolina town gave a small number of people an injection of saline instead of a COVID-19 vaccine last month, the company said Monday.

Erin Loverher, a Walgreens spokesperson, said 22 people at one location were affected by the mix-up on March 20 at the pharmacy in Monroe and were scheduled to receive their second shot over the past weekend.

“In alignment with CDC recommendations, we reached out to all impacted patients and administered a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as the impacted patients were available to return to the pharmacy,” Loverher said in a statement.

She noted pharmacists sometimes use saline solutions during training and that there is no reason to believe anyone injected was harmed.

Walgreens is investigating what went wrong, reviewing its processes and is working to prevent similar incidents from taking place in the future.

“We continue to strengthen our operating procedures and are committed to this not occurring again,” Loverher said.

Monroe is 26 miles southeast of Charlotte.