Nurse seeks reinstatement and back pay after being fired for overdosing inmates on COVID vaccine.
According to the Associated Press, a nurse who was fired from the Iowa Department of Corrections after providing excessive dosages of a COVID-19 vaccine to convicts is fighting her dismissal and asking back pay.
Amanda Dodson, a licensed nurse at the maximum-security Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, was fired after an inquiry revealed that 77 inmates received vaccine doses that were up to six times the recommended quantity.
Dodson and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61, which represents prison employees, are appealing her dismissal.
Dodson was wrongfully discharged, according to the appeal to the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board, and should be reinstated with back pay and absolved of wrongdoing.
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The Associated Press acquired Dodson’s termination letter through an open records request, which faulted her for “improper COVID immunization protocols” that resulted in convicts obtaining overdoses on April 20.
According to the department, convicts experienced adverse effects from the vaccine such as body aches and fevers, but none of them became ill enough to require hospitalization, and they all recovered.
Without elaborating on how the overdoses occurred, Acting Warden Chris Tripp wrote on May 10 that an inquiry found Dodson had broken a number of staff work regulations and standards. It claimed, among other things, that she was inattentive and inexperienced with critical duties, that she failed to correctly administer prescriptions, and that she did not respond appropriately to a “medication incident.”
Before collecting her final payment on May 21, Dodson was required to turn up her state-issued uniform and badge, according to the letter. According to state records, she began working at the prison in 2004 as a radiological technologist before becoming a licensed nurse in 2013. In 2020, she earned $75,252.
The overdoses occurred after the prison quickly switched from utilizing the Moderna vaccination to the Pfizer version, according to Union spokesperson Troy Price. Pfizer’s vaccinations come in vials with six doses each that must be diluted with saline solution before use. The vaccination from Moderna does not need to be diluted.
Before beginning to administer shots, the nurses were given 90 minutes notice and no training on how the new vaccines were to be produced and distributed, according to Price.
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