14 children in California receive double dose of COVID-19 vaccine – Community News
Covid-19

14 children in California receive double dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Denise Iserloth and her two sons, ages 8 and 11, were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday.

A few hours later, the older boy lost his balance and fell twice. Both boys complained of abdominal pain and nausea.

Soon, Iserloth discovered why.

The clinic, Sutter Health in Antioch, had given her sons twice the dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that children their age should receive.

Twelve other children also received the double dose.

Medical professionals assured Iserloth that the short-term effects would disappear in a few days and that the long-term risks are likely to be minimal.

But that is little comfort to the mother who already had deep reservations about vaccinating her children.

“I was in a panic when I got the call that this had happened,” Iserloth said. “I cried every day. I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.”

California started vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 this month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the injections for that age group.

Iserloth, 38, of Oakley, was concerned about side effects and a family history of allergic reactions, but wanted to make sure her sons could attend school as state-wide vaccination mandates for students gradually come into effect.

She also wanted them to be fully vaccinated for future family travel.

“I tried to be proactive, even though I wasn’t ready to get them vaccinated,” Iserloth said. “Because I know we failed them at distance learning, so I quietly vaccinated them. I decided to have them both vaccinated at the same time in one trip to the clinic. Then the clinic failed miserably.”

In a statement, Sutter Health pediatrician and chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, Dr. Jimmy Hu, that the 14 children “were given vaccines with an incorrect amount of diluent.”

Children ages 5 to 11 receive a smaller dose than older age groups, so a diluent is added to the shots they receive as part of a two-dose regimen.

Instead of 10 micrograms of messenger RNA, the 14 children received about 20 micrograms, according to Sutter Health.

“As soon as we learned about this, we reached out to the parents and advised them on CDC guidance in this situation,” Hu said in the statement. “The safety of our patients is our top priority and we immediately reviewed our processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

dr. Edward Jones-Lopez, an infectious disease specialist at USC’s Keck Medicine, said the error at Sutter Health was not ideal, but also not very worrisome.

However, it can create a false sense that vaccines are unsafe for children, when the risks of not vaccinating are much more serious, he said.

“Overall, they’re very safe, and an increased dose, in this case accidentally, if it’s going to cause problems, it’s from the injection of the vaccine,” he said. “Like any vaccine we give in childhood, they can cause fever, flu and other side effects.”

Iserloth said Sutter Health did not explain how the mistake was made or what her family can expect next.

“Every answer every pediatrician has told me is that they expect my kids to be okay, but there’s no guarantee,” Iserloth said. “I have a huge maternal guilt.”

On Tuesday night, her kids were feeling a little better, although she had to pick up her 11-year-old from school early because he was nauseous.

She is certain of one thing: Her children will not receive a second dose of the vaccine until her questions are answered, she said.