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Charlotte woman says she was given the wrong COVID-19 booster shot

Despite it being written as the new booster on her vaccine card, Schneider said the Walgreens pharmacist called to admit they made a mistake.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte woman, who was intending to get the new omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot, says she was given the wrong shot at a local pharmacy.

Lindsay Schneider went to the Walgreens in Charlotte's South Park neighborhood and got what she thought was the bivalent booster shot. Instead, she was given the original monovalent COVID-19 booster shot.

She was shocked and upset when the pharmacist, who had even written on the vaccination card that a bivalent booster had been administered, called her the next day to say they made a mistake.

“That sigh of relief turned to sheer fear and outrage. I was just shocked,” Schneider told WCNC Charlotte.

RELATED: Yes, COVID-19 vaccine boosters for omicron are available to the public

The approval of the new bivalent booster shots gave her the confidence to start easing up on some COVID-19 precautions. Her whole life changed during the pandemic.

“I got married during COVID. I had my first baby during COVID,” she said. “My whole life has been protecting this baby. For two and a half years we’ve been pretty much in isolation.”

Next week, she’s supposed to finally go on her honeymoon and wanted the new shot before traveling. 

“The next day a Walgreens employee called my phone to tell me they had inexplicably given me the wrong COVID vaccine. The monovalent vaccine that doesn’t protect against omicron,” Schneider said.

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In a statement, Walgreens officials told WCNC Charlotte:

“In general, events like these are rare and we take this matter very seriously. In the event of any error, our first concern is always for a patient's well-being. Our multi-step vaccination procedure includes several safety checks to minimize the chance of human error and we have reviewed this process with our pharmacy staff in order to prevent such occurrences.”

Doctors say there’s no medical harm in getting another round of the original booster. The FDA and CDC have previously recommended older populations do exactly that.

“I’ve had two boosters with that," Dr. Zack Moore, an NCDHHS epidemiologist explained."That’s been very well studied but it doesn’t give you the extra protection against the omicron variant."

However, Schneider will now have to wait several months to get the extra protection she desired. She fears this could disrupt the future growth of their family.

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"I really have to make the choice of getting pregnant sooner and getting a vaccine while pregnant or delaying our whole timeline of continuing to build our family,” Schneider said. “I know it’s the right decision for me but getting it while pregnant just makes me a little nervous, and I really didn’t want to get the vaccine while pregnant."

She filed a complaint with the state pharmacy board.

Schneider said she does not want to discourage people from getting vaccinated. She is encouraging people to double-check what they are being given before getting a vaccination.

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About 78,000 North Carolinians have already gotten the new, omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot and doctors are encouraging everyone who is eligible to do the same.

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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