Salem teenager claims CVS accidentally gave her six doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

The incident allegedly took place earlier this week

SALEM, Va – A 17-year-old girl is speaking out after she says she was given six times the normal dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Salem.

Ellaica Desdura knew she wanted to get her COVID-19 vaccine so she could travel back to the Philippines next year.

“I know it’s required when we are going to go back there, so I really need to get vaccinated,” said Ellaica.

What she did not expect, was getting six times the normal amount of the Pfizer shot.

“The pharmacist came to us, like told us like, just wait for 30 minutes because they gave me a little bit stronger dose,” she continued.

Her mother, Melisa Blevins, says she took her to the CVS Pharmacy on Chesnut Street in Salem on Tuesday for her appointment.

They were shocked after they say an employee gave Ellaica six times the normal amount. “When I found out it’s like, it’s really strong it was really scary,” said Blevins.

According to records obtained by 10 News, Salem Fire and EMS responded to the CVS on Tuesday afternoon for “a 17-year-old female who received six times the dose of a Pfizer vaccine that they were not supposed to.”

Report from Salem Fire and EMS responding to the CVS on Chesnut Street in Salem. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

The family said Ellaica was not taken to the hospital and that on Tuesday night, she experienced swelling on her arm, irregular heart rate and nausea.

“I couldn’t sleep and then, I was checking my temperature it was like 98 , or something like that and then it’s not really bad so after the day, the second day, I was like, I will feel tired, feel dizzy,” said Ellaica.

CVS location on Chestnut Street in Salem (WSLS 10)

10 News contacted CVS about the incident and while the company cannot discuss this exact incident at this time, 10 News is working to get permission from the family to allow the company to provide further comment.

The company initially responded by saying in part:

“We cannot comment on a specific patient without authorization. Vaccination errors are a very rare occurrence, but if they do occur, we work with the patient to notify their physician, report the incident to the appropriate regulatory agencies, and to take steps to help prevent it from occurring again.”

She is wondering if this accident could impact her long-term health.

“It was really scared I overthink all night, like, what, what will be the side effects in my body I don’t know what the side effects will be, so that’s the one that I am really worried about,” said Ellaica.

Ellaica does not want anyone to be discouraged from getting the vaccine, but she is encouraging providers to be vigilant.

10 News reached out to the Virginia Department of Health about this story, and they want to stress that these types of incidents are incredibly rare.

About the Author

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.

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