The Reason Everyone Is Talking About This Kroger COVID Vaccine Mistake

News emerged this week that a Kroger Little Clinic in Virginia accidentally injected a small number of people with nothing instead of the vaccines for the novel coronavirus. Initially, as The News & Observer reported, Kroger claimed to have injected those set for inoculation with saline, but later revealed that the syringes used were, in fact, empty.

Allison McGee, Kroger's spokesperson, called the mishap an "honest mistake." In a more formal statement given to KWQC, Kroger fell back to lauding their work in administering the vaccine to 836,000, encouraging all to receive the vaccine, and affirming that all the customers who had originally received empty shots had the vaccine administered properly by the time of the statement. KWQC managed to track down one of the customers affected, Carrie Hawes, who said that while the mistake was unfortunate, only a small amount of people were involved, and the situation had been resolved after being contacted by the manager the next day. The vaccination process continues without much impediment. 

An effort in transparency

The reason for such coverage over the mishap is that it occurred during the rollout of the vaccine meant to inoculate people against the biggest pandemic the United States has seen in a century in an environment that already sees distrust of vaccines.

In September, Pew released the results of a poll which showed that despite the majority of respondents still intending to receive the vaccination, the number of people who said they would probably not get the vaccine or definitely would not get the vaccine grew in the period between May and September, from 27 percent to 49 percent. A large portion of the doubt was due to a conviction that the United States would start issuing vaccines before they are proven to be ready. Five months have passed and attitudes could easily have changed again.

The news coverage might assuage fears about the vaccine that would have risen from the mistake. Case in point: News Channel 3's reporting, in which they talked to a customer who also received his vaccination from the clinic. The customer said, "This is a Herculean effort by the government and private industry working together to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Mistakes are going to happen in this process, I think that should be expected." The point is to keep the vaccinations going.