Adrenalin vials look similar to COVID-19 vaccine vials
It has been called to our attention that EPINEPHrine (ADRENALIN) vials from Par Pharmaceutical look similar to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine vials. Both are about the same size and shape, with purple caps and mostly black print on white labels (Figure 1). A Safety Brief in our April 8, 2021, newsletter discussed two cases that occurred at a vaccination site where EPINEPHrine syringes were accidentally administered to patients instead of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, shedding light on the importance of ensuring separate storage of EPINEPHrine and COVID-19 vaccine syringes. It should not be difficult to see how the same mix-up could happen with these similar-looking vials.
Certainly, EPINEPHrine must be readily available to treat a rare anaphylactic reaction associated with the COVID-19 vaccines. However, avoid storing these vials near COVID-19 vaccines. If possible, consider utilizing barcode technology that requires scanning the EPINEPHrine vials prior to administration (despite the fast-paced environment during emergencies) to ensure the right product has been selected. Also, providing and using ready-to-use EPINEPHrine autoinjectors instead of EPINEPHrine vials makes the drug look visually different than the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vial.