EXCLUSIVE: Some Sonoma Co. patients need 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot after possible needle malfunction

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Four people in Sonoma County will now have to have a third COVID-19 vaccine shot due to the second one leaking. Health officials say this was not human error, but rather problems with the syringes and needles supplied by the government.

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"Sat down, rolled up my sleeve, and she put the needle in and she said 'oh' after the plunger part of the syringe and I said, 'okay this isn't good' in my mind."

Michele Scapeccia is describing the moment she got her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Santa Rosa Junior College's Petaluma Campus.

"She pulled the syringe out and said only a little bit got in but most of it stayed in the syringe," said Scapeccia.

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Those from Petaluma Health Center, who are in charge of administering the doses at this location, say that four individuals dealt with leakage from needles last Thursday, and therefore, will have to get another dose.

The chief medical officer from the health center says human error is not to blame, rather the syringes and needles supplied by the feds.

She went on to say the retractable needles were the problem, and that once they identified the issue, 100 needles were taken out of use and replaced with different ones.

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The medical officer says their nurses have given thousands of shots and never had this issue.
As for Scapeccia, she had side effects like chills and a fever a day after the dose, and now doesn't know what to expect the third time, but is still happy she's opted to get the vaccine.

"I want to see my family. I want to see my friends. I want to go out to dinner. I want to sit in a movie house again, just not right now until I get my third shot, but I want to be able to do that and if I don't get vaccinated I am not going to feel comfortable going and sitting with people who I love and care about."

Michele was rescheduled for another shot this upcoming Thursday which would mark one week from the last one she had. There are still some questions about whether this timeline complies with CDC recommendations.

We've reached out to Petaluma Health Center for further clarification but have yet to hear back.

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