Seventy children in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have received expired doses of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, the county’s health department announced Thursday.
Seventy children in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have received expired doses of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, the county health department said Thursday.
It happened Friday, November 26, at the county’s sports and learning complex in Landover.
The Prince George’s County Health Department said it has informed the families of the children, ages 5 to 11, who received expired first or second doses of the Pfizer vaccine after being accidentally kept in a refrigerator with usable doses.
The provincial health department said there is no risk to the children, although the expired doses are likely less effective in protecting against COVID-19.
The department will offer special private clinics for affected families at Cheverly Health Center (3003 Hospital Drive) accepted on Sunday, December 5 and Saturday, December 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If the families want to be vaccinated earlier, they can go to one of the regular clinics offered in certain primary and secondary schools in the province or in the sports and learning complex.
“We deeply regret the error and apologize for the concern and inconvenience this has caused families,” George L. Askew, the county’s deputy chief executive for health, human services and education, said in a press release.
“As a pediatrician, I want to assure parents that receiving an expired COVID-19 vaccine dose or receiving a replacement dose will not endanger your child’s health. An expired dose may not provide the maximum protection that these vaccines provide, so the county has quickly made arrangements to have each of these children re-vaccinated,” Askew said.
On Nov. 19, the Prince George’s County Health Department received 300 pediatric doses of Pfizer from a supplier who was unable to administer them before they expired on Nov. 24.
HealthCare Dynamics International, the vaccination provider to the Sports and Learning Complex clinic, has administered all but 70 doses before the expiration date.
But the remaining 70 doses were not thrown away, which should have been done, and were instead accidentally refrigerated with viable vaccines, according to the health department.
On November 26, those 70 expired doses were placed on a viable dose scale and administered in the clinic that day.
“The vaccine supplier at the sports and learning complex has been retrained in vaccine storage and administration protocols, and the province has been assured by the vaccine supplier that it has taken corrective action to prevent this from happening again. happening,” said Prince George’s County. Health Officer Ernest Carter.
There have been several incidents of children across the country being given the wrong dosage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after it was approved for use in children ages 5 to 11 last month. That includes an agency in Loudoun County, Virginia, where an adult dose was ranked third in an effort to create a dose for children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that when a lower dose is given, a child should be given a booster dose.
As for expired doses, the CDC says to contact the manufacturer.
Prince George’s Department of Health said it had “extensive” consultations with the CDC, Maryland’s Department of Health (MDH), and Pfizer before deciding that the 70 affected children should be revaccinated.
The department reported the error to the MDH and to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
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