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Virginia Kroger accidentally administers empty syringes to customers scheduled for COVID-19 vaccines

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A Kroger in Virginia accidentally injected customers who were seeking a COVID-19 vaccine with an empty syringe.

What are the details?

According to a Thursday report from CNN, at least nine people recently received shots of nothing when they went to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at a Richmond-area Kroger.

A spokesperson for the company said in a statement that a "small number of patients" recently received empty shots at a Little Clinic location in Midlothian, Virginia.

Kroger only realized that nine patients received empty syringes when the Virginia Department of Public Health informed them — because the provider "did not realize that the syringes were not pre-filled."

"All impacted customers were contacted and have received their COVID-19 vaccine," the spokesperson added. "We thank these customers for their understanding and have apologized for their inconvenience."

The spokesperson added, "Kroger is taking steps to ensure that similar incidents don't occur in the future."

What else?

Carrie Hawes, a clinic customer who received one of the empty shots, told WWBT-TV that she was alarmed when she heard the news that she was injected with nothing.

"Talked to a manager right away and they explained that there had been a mistake made — that we had been given saline only. There was no vaccination material," Hawes said. "My initial reaction was shock and surprise, and a little anxiety."

The Hill reported on Thursday that upon clarification and confirmation, the syringes were empty — not filled with any saline solution.

WWBT noted that Hawes was able to return to the clinic to receive the corrected COVID-19 vaccine within two hours of receiving the news.

"They were very clear with me when we went in," she said. "They showed us the vial to make sure it was Johnson & Johnson, pulled out the vaccine, she showed me again."

"Yes, it's unfortunate that a mistake happened, but it was a small number of people. The situation was fixed," she added. "I get that it's been a long year and there isn't a lot of trust sometimes in our systems and the process, but I think everyone has the best intentions and the end result is to get as many people as we can vaccinated, as quickly as we can so we can all be protective of our community."

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