A vial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is seen at a pop-up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, Aug. 23, 2021.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images
According to the Department of Health, a Virginia pharmacy incorrectly administered Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 injections to 112 children last week.
“The pharmacy was trying to dispense a correct dose,” Dr. David Goodfriend, director of Loudoun County’s health department, told CNBC on Thursday. He said it appears that the pharmacy dispensed about a third of the adult dose, which should be the right amount. “However, a lower dose is possible if not all 0.1 ml is delivered into the muscles,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week approved Pfizer’s injections for children ages 5 to 11 at one-third the dosage for older age groups. Although Pfizer makes special color-coded vials for younger children to make sure they’re getting the correct dosage, employees at a pharmacy in Aldie, Virginia — about 36 miles outside of Washington, D.C. — extracted the doses from the vials intended for everyone 12 years and older. years and older.
Goodfriend warned parents in a letter sent Wednesday that Ted Pharmacy may have administered a lower dose than recommended. State and federal officials told the pharmacy to stop dispensing shots altogether on Friday before confiscating all Covid doses, a spokesperson for the Virginia health department said in a statement.
Goodfriend added that his department was not aware of children being given too much vaccine. The Virginia Department of Health said Ted Pharmacy administered the incorrect vaccine doses Nov. 3 to 4, within two days of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approving Pfizer’s Covid injections for children ages 5 to 11.
Children in that age group will receive a Covid vaccine regimen of two doses of 10 micrograms, compared to the 30 microgram injections for those 12 years and older.
Goodfriend told parents in the letter to avoid giving their children a higher dose intended for older age groups for their second injection, and said they should check with their pediatrician “to determine the best course of action for each patient.” .”
The letter gave parents two options for completing their children’s Covid vaccine series: they can restart the vaccination process at least 21 days after the wrong dose was administered or complete the second injection with the correct 10 micrograms dose as scheduled.
“VDH is also working to reach out to parents and make sure they understand guidelines for next steps,” the department statement said. “VDH has not received any other reports of pharmacies or suppliers administering COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12 and older to children 5-11 years old.”
Pfizer’s ships its vaccines for 5 to 11-year-olds with orange caps, labels and boxes to distinguish them from the purple packaging on injections for those 12 and older. The shots also include new instructions and dilution warnings to prevent medical providers from mixing up the two shots, Pfizer representatives told the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee Oct. 26.