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B.C. company sues pharmacist who reused COVID syringe barrels

Bhanu Prasad Seelaboyina gave 96 patients COVID-19 immunizations with reused syringe barrels, according to the B.C. College of Pharmacists.
COVID-19 vaccinations became a common occurrence in 2021.

A Metro Vancouver pharmacist allegedly gave people COVID-19 vaccine shots while repeatedly using the same syringe barrel but not the needle, a new B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit alleges.

The July 7 notice of civil claim filed by Kent Pharmacy doing business as Ultracare Pharmacy #2 in New Westminster alleged defendant Bhanu Prasad Seelaboyina “administered COVID-19 vaccinations to patients of Kent Pharmacy and in doing so negligently reused the same syringe barrel for multiple patients without the knowledge or approval of Kent Pharmacy” on Aug. 24-25, 2021.

The claim said a patient noticed the use of the same barrel Aug. 26.

The documents said Kent became aware of the situation from police later that day.

On Aug. 27, a patient made a complaint to the B.C. College of Pharmacists saying he had received an immunization from Seelaboyina with a reused syringe barrel and that he had done the same with other patients.

The claim said the college investigated and determined Seelaboyina had reused barrels.

The suit said despite Kent’s protocols, his experience and being a pharmacist in good standing, Seelaboyina provided vaccinations in “a grossly negligent and dangerous manner.”

As a result of the situation, two notices of civil claim have been brought against Kent, Seelaboyina and others as possible class-action suits, state court documents.

Kent disputes those actions, alleging any losses, breaches or negligence is that of Seelaboyina. The claim alleged Seelaboyina’s actions have caused damages to Kent’s business and reputation.

The suit seeks damages for negligence, loss of business income, loss of goodwill and reputational harm.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

College of Pharmacists

Separate from the high court action is the college investigation.

The decision there said Seelaboyina practiced in New Westminster but is currently under suspension.

The college website said between Aug. 24-26, 2021, Seelaboyina administered COVID-19 immunizations to 96 patients, and reused the same syringe barrel for multiple patients.

“Him not disclosing his conduct during this time period put 96 patients at risk and denied these patients the agency to determine how to make an informed decision to mitigate the risks,” the college said.

The college required Seelaboyina to undergo education on:

  • conflict resolution;
  • providing empathic care;
  • preventing and reporting of medication incidents;
  • communicating with patients;
  • addressing ethical issues;
  • infection control; and,
  • to write letters of apology to the persons affected by his conduct who also filed complaints with the college regarding this matter.