November 15, 2021: -According to the state Department of Health, a pharmacy in Virginia incorrectly administered Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 shots to 112 children last week.
“The pharmacy attempted to provide a proper dose,” Loudoun County Health Department director Dr. David Goodfriend told CNBC. He added that it appears the pharmacy did administer about a third of the adult dose, which should be the correct amount. Although, “a lower dose is possible if not all of the 0.1 ml was administered into muscle,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cleared Pfizer’s shots for kids ages 5 to 11 in the previous week at a third of the dosage for older age groups. Although Pfizer makes color-coded vials for younger children to ensure they get the correct dosage, employees at a pharmacy in Aldie, Virginia, nearly 36 miles outside of Washington, D.C., pulled the doses from the vials intended for anyone 12 and older.
In a letter sent out Wednesday, Goodfriend alerted parents that Ted Pharmacy may have administered a lower dose than recommended. State and federal officials told the pharmacy to stop distributing shots altogether before seizing all of its Covid amounts, a Virginia health department spokesperson said in a statement.
Goodfriend added that the department was not aware of any children receiving too much vaccine. Virginia’s Department of Health said Ted Pharmacy administered the improper vaccine doses from November 3 to 4, within the two days of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approving Pfizer’s Covid amounts for children 5 to 11.
Kids in that age receive a two-dose, ten microgram Covid vaccine regimen, compared to the 30 microgram doses for those 12 and older.
Goodfriend told parents in the letter to avoid giving their children a higher dose meant for higher age groups for their second dose, saying they should contact their pediatricians “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 either restart the vaccination process at least 21 days after the incorrect dose was administered or complete the second shot with the proper ten microgram dosage as scheduled.
“VDH is also working to contact parents and ensure they understand the guidance on next steps,” the department’s statement said. “VDH has not received any other reports of pharmacies or providers administering COVID-19 vaccines formulated for 12 years to children 5-11 years old.”