Multiple people who went to a local Kroger grocery store in Virginia to receive a COVID-19 vaccine this week were mistakenly given empty syringes instead, a Kroger spokesperson told The Hill on Thursday.
The incident occurred at a Kroger location in the suburban town of Midlothian, outside the state capital of Richmond.
"All impacted customers were contacted and have now received the COVID-19 vaccine," the spokesperson noted. "We apologize for this oversight and the inconvenience caused for these customers."
In a statement to ABC affiliate WRIC, Kroger said that “less than 10” people were impacted by the incident, and that previous statements from the company stating that the syringes were filled with saline instead of the COVID-19 vaccine were incorrect.
Carrie Hawes, one of the people who received an empty shot at the Kroger location, told NBC’s Richmond affiliate station WWBT that she received an appointment to get a Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Monday evening. The following day, she received a call about the mistake.
“My initial reaction was shock and surprise, and a little anxiety,” she told the outlet, noting that she returned to the store after receiving the phone call to correctly receive the vaccination.
A Kroger spokesperson also confirmed to The Hill that the company has informed the Virginia Department of Health about the issue, and that clinic employees have been retrained on how to administer the inoculations.
The Kroger spokesperson also confirmed that the company has provided almost 1 million COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
“Kroger encourages everyone to receive whichever vaccine is available to them at the earliest point they become eligible,” the spokesperson noted.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
The sweeping package guarantees another round of stimulus checks to many American families, and provides funding for both COVID-19 vaccination programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides nutrition assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families.