An elderly woman in London suffering from dementia mistakenly received two AstraZeneca jabs within just five days apart. The 74-year-old grandmother of four who lives in supported housing got her first shot on Jan. 23 after getting booked at Woolwich Late Night Pharmacy by her daughter.

But five days later, the woman went to Plumstead Health Centre in Greenwich to queue for another AstraZeneca jab. Unaware of her initial dose, medics at the health center administered another shot. 

The whole mix-up was only realized when she turned up for her booster dose appointment on April 11 when she presented two vaccination cards. 

In an email sent by South East London CCG  which runs the GP services in the locality, they admitted not having any knowledge that the woman had already been vaccinated with her first dose. “We had no idea that she had been vaccinated by Woolwich Late Night Pharmacy, hence the reason that we arranged for her vaccination at Plumstead Health Centre.”

The elderly woman’s family were furious over the fact that no-one checked the system before giving out the jabs to senior citizens with her condition. “When I took my mother for a second Covid vaccine, she pulled out two cards. I thought maybe this was an error, but it wasn't. The pharmacy wouldn't give her a second dose as they said they couldn't administer it until they had confirmation she only had one dose,” her daughter told the Daily Mail.

She added: "I am furious about this. They knew she was a vulnerable adult yet they still gave her the vaccine without checking. No one is doing due diligence. I am really angry they put her in that situation.”

The woman’s daughter said her mother suffers from short term memory loss and did not remember getting her first dose. She also claimed that after realizing the blunder the family immediately called health care services but the receptionist said the initial dose had not been registered therefore her mother can receive the second one.

The grandmother reportedly suffered no ill effects from the double-jab of the initial dose. She received her booster dose on April 11 making it her third Covid-19 vaccine. 

According to vaccine expert Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, there are no particular risks from being jabbed twice in five days.

The reason vaccines are given in scheduled doses weeks apart is due to a prime-boost' strategy wherein the first shot trains the immune system to recognise the coronavirus. The second dose then tests the body’s reaction after immunity has developed and allows the body to strengthen the immune system.

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidelines say that experience of overdosing of the vaccine is “limited”. “There is no specific treatment for an overdose with Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca, In the event of an overdose, the individual should be monitored and provided with symptomatic treatment as appropriate.”

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