The Virginia State Department of Health has said that 112 children last week were administered incorrect doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech covid vaccine.
The Loudoun County Health Department director, Dr David Goodfriend, told CNBC on Thursday that the pharmacy administered about a third of the adult dose, which should be the right amount. He said, “The pharmacy attempted to provide a proper dose; however, a lower dose is possible if not all of the 0.1 ml was administered into muscle”.
Although drugmaker Pfizer Inc produces a special colour-coded vial for younger children to ensure they get the right dosage, employees at the pharmacy in Virginia chose rather to pull and administer to children, doses from the vials intended for people who are 12 and older.
The Pfizer’s kids’ vaccines are shipped with orange caps, labels and boxes for 5 to 11-year-olds while the vaccines for anyone 12 and older are shipped with purple packaging to help distinguish them. The shots also contain new instructions and dilution warnings to help prevent medical providers from confusing the two shots, Pfizer representatives told the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee on Oct. 26.
According to the director, he alerted parents in a letter stating that Ted Pharmacy may have administered a lower dose than recommended.
The pharmacy had been ordered by state and federal officials to stop distributing shots altogether on Friday before going ahead to possess all of its Covid doses.
Dr Goodfriend further added that his department was not aware of any children receiving too much vaccine, however, the Virginia Department of Health said that Ted Pharmacy had administered the improper vaccine doses from Nov. 3 to 4, within two days of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approving Pfizer’s Covid shots for children 5 to 11.
In the letter, Dr Goodfriend told parents to avoid giving their children a higher dose meant for older age groups for their second shot, advising them to contact their paediatricians who could be in the best position to determine the best course of action for the patient.
Parents have been given two options for completing their children’s Covid vaccine series, which are, they could either restart the vaccination process at least 21 days after the administration of the incorrect dose or choose to complete the second shot with the proper 10 microgram dosage as scheduled.