116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Dozens of Iowa prison inmates who received overdoses of the COVID-19 vaccine will not receive payment from the state for injuries they say they sustained.
The State Appeal Board on Monday voted unanimously to deny the claims from 52 inmates at Fort Madison prison who said they had various symptoms from being administered six times the proper dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in April 2021. The inmates were seeking $1 million each.
The recommendations from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office said the state is immune from claims that stem from COVID-19 vaccine administration because of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.
The federal law allows the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a declaration in response to an emergency that provides immunity for some entities. The current COVID-19 declaration protects “negligence by a health care provider in prescribing the wrong dose” of a vaccine.
The inmates were among 77 who received six times the proper dose of the vaccine in 2021.
The state fired two nurses later that year in connection with the incident. At least one of the nurses, Amanda Dodson, was fined $500 by the Iowa Board of Nursing, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch.
According to the Capital Dispatch, the two nurses administered the vaccine to 77 inmates on April 13, 2021. After going to retrieve more vials of the vaccine, Dodson found there was none left. She then read the label on the vial and realized they had been administering six times the recommended dose.
Inmates who received the overdose of the vaccine reported symptoms similar to those experienced with the proper dose of the vaccine, including body aches, but none were hospitalized, according to reporting at the time.