Pharmacy gives more than 100 children dose of COVID-19 vaccine from adult vials

A pharmacy in Virginia is now no longer permitted to dispense COVID-19 vaccines after it gave a dose meant for people 12 years old and older, to more than 100 children from the ages of 5 to 11.

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A Ted Pharmacy location in Loudoun County is being investigated by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, state health officials told WRC. The pharmacy board has not confirmed nor denied the investigation, but it did issue a statement to the news station that read in part:

“It is important to note under Virginia law 54.1-2400.2, Virginia’s health regulatory boards, including the Board of Pharmacy (BOP), are not at liberty to confirm nor deny whether an investigation into a possible violation of a law or regulation is or is not underway.

“Should an investigation reveal there is probable cause to believe a law or regulation was broken an Informal Conference or a Formal Hearing before the board may be held for consideration of possible disciplinary action. The Board’s findings of fact and resulting actions are contained in a Board Order that becomes a matter of public record available online on the Board of Pharmacy’s website under License Lookup and Recent Case Decisions.”

—  Virginia's Board of Pharmacy via WRC

The Loudoun County Health Department did release an alert about the mistake saying, “The pharmacy who administered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination to your child last week has been removed from both the state and federal COVID-19 vaccination programs,” the letter to parents said, according to WRC.

COVID-19 Vaccine Letter by National Content Desk on Scribd

About 112 children got a dose that was meant to be given to people 12 years old and older, WJLA reported. The vial has a purple top.

Children from ages 5 to 11 are supposed to get a smaller dose dispensed from a vial with an orange top.

Dasha Hermosilla said her 7-year-old daughter Gryffin Fahle got one of the adult doses, which she was told was a diluted dose. She said the pharmacist said it was OK, but an internet search said that it is not.

“Nothing says that you can change a purple to an orange,” Hermosilla told WRC. “I had this pit in my stomach that, like, what did they just do to my daughter.”

Parents are being told to watch their child for any side effects like fevers, chills or pain at the injection site and to contact the child’s doctor if the side effects are prolonged, WRC reported.

Parents and caregivers should also contact the child’s doctor to find out what next steps they should take.

They can decide to either give the child the correct dose of the vaccine at least 21 days after the first shot was given or get the second dose as scheduled. Either way, the next shot should be the pediatric formula, not the one meant for older people, the Department of Health said.

Parents should also report the dosage issue to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

The health department also suggests that parents sign up for the V-safe system to document any issues their child may have.

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