Woman Experiences Premature Labor After Being Administered The Wrong RSV Vaccine During Routine Pharmacy Visit

Natasha Biase

A woman is seeking legal representation after being administered the wrong Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine and going into premature labor as a result. In a post made on the r/legaladvice subreddit, the woman says she was offered a small settlement as hush money, but was exploring her options.

Known only by the username u/lovelytry, the woman explains that in addition to going into “preterm labor only a few hours after being administered the incorrect vaccine,” her child was also born “four weeks early and had to be placed on a ventilator in the [neonatal intensive care unit].” 

Despite this, she says that the drugstore retailer who administered her vaccine is only offering small settlements in exchange for a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Her post garnered over 1,400 upvotes from users stressing that the woman should not sign anything without speaking to a lawyer first. “Medical malpractice is incredibly fact specific. You should reach out and discuss this with an attorney,” wrote one user.

In response, she noted that she is having difficulty securing a lawyer who wants to take her case. “I have tried and I can’t find an attorney that wants to take the case,” she said. “I feel like I’m not reaching out to attorney offices that are equipped to handle this type of case.”

The Publica reached out to the woman for comment after comments were locked on her post, but have not yet heard back.

Although the woman mentions her incident occurred in Tennessee, similar cases have popped up in other parts of the country, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now issued a notice warning that over 150 people were administered the wrong RSV vaccine — 128 of which were pregnant women.

While there are only two RSV vaccines on the market, Abrysvo and Arexvy, only Abrysvo is approved for pregnant women who are “between 32 and 36 weeks gestation.” Abrysvo is made by Pfizer and Arexvy is made by GSK.

Though the CDC has marked the current situation with the RSV vaccines as “unserious,” the Reddit post by @lovelytry indicates the situation might be more concerning than initially communicated.

In Berrien County, Michigan, a Walgreens recently confirmed that it gave the wrong RSV vaccination to a pregnant woman who was now being monitored.

Dr. Rex Cabaltica, Berrien County medical director, told members of the Berrien County Board of Health in December that there have been several errors throughout Michigan made by pharmacies. He said doctor’s offices are regulated by the health department, but pharmacies are federally regulated.

Speaking to The Herald Palladium, Cabaltica said “clinical trials using Arexvy, one of the available RSV vaccines, on pregnant women were stopped because the vaccine was found to increase the rate of preterm births and elevated blood pressure in some of the mothers.”

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