Fewer than 10 customers who were scheduled to receive the vaccine at The Little Clinic, one of the company's walk-in clinics in Chesterfield County, were impacted by the mistake, a Kroger spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.
“The TLC location at our Midlothian, Va., store injected a small number of patients with empty VanishPoint syringes instead of the COVID-19 vaccine," the spokesperson said.
Originally, the company thought the customers were injected with saline rather than the vaccine, calling it an "honest mistake," WTVR reported. But it turned out that the syringes had nothing in them at all.
The professional who had administered the blank shots thought that all of the syringes had been properly filled with the vaccine prior to the appointments, according to the outlet.
However, the customers were immediately informed of the mishap and have since received a proper COVID-19 shot, according to Kroger.
The clinic is "investigating the matter to prevent a similar situation from recurring in the future," the spokesperson said.
The Virginia Department of Health is also "aware of this incident."
At the end of December, Kroger – one of the selected retailer pharmacies for President Biden’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership – announced that it would be providing the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide across its 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics.
Since then, the company announced that it's been able to deliver 1 million doses per week through in-store pharmacies and clinics, and mass vaccination off-site events.