Virginia Pharmacy Gives Incorrect COVID Vaccine Dosage to Children Aged 5-11

A pharmacy in Loudon County, Virginia, reportedly administered the COVID-19 vaccine developed for 12 and older to more than 100 kids aged 5 to 11 by mistake. On Nov. 3-4, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) suspects Ted Pharmacy in Aldie gave 112 children a different dose than advised. 

The department told Fox News, “On November 5, state and federal authorities ordered the pharmacy to discontinue administering the vaccine, and VDH subsequently collected all COVID-19 vaccines at the pharmacy. Officials instructed the pharmacy to notify parents about next steps, including the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding whether patients should restart the vaccine series or receive a correct second dose. VDH is also working to contact parents and ensure they understand the guidance on next steps.”

There have been no more reports of pharmacies or providers giving COVID-19 vaccinations intended for children aged 12 and above to children aged 5 to 11. VDH said it sent instructions to other pharmacies detailing vaccine administration directions and a letter to physicians outlining the revised vaccine formulation.

A letter shared by Fox 23 from the department’s head, David Goodfriend, said the agency was aware of the problem and shared information from Pfizer and the CDC. Goodfriend stated in the letter, “If you are the parent/guardian of a child ages 5-11 years old who received a dose of COVID-19 at Ted Pharmacy on November 3 or November 4, 2021, please review the following information.” He continued, “VDH recommends that parents review [CDC] guidance and contact their health care provider to discuss options to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series.”

The guidance recommends parents monitor the children for adverse effects and contact a primary care doctor or pediatrician for advice on the best course of action moving forward. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a lesser dose of the vaccine recommended for children 12 and older is given to younger kids, parents can wait 21 days before restarting the appropriate COVID-19 vaccination series. The county health department says parents can wait 21 days or get the second shot as scheduled, ensuring the proper vaccination with the orange cap.

The pharmacy that provided the shots has been withdrawn from state and federal COVID-19 vaccination programs and has given the local health department control of its remaining vaccine inventory.

NBC Washington reports the Virginia Board of Pharmacy is investigating the pharmacy. However, The board did not confirm the investigation, telling NBC, “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.”

The board also said:

“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.”

Besides the case in Loudoun County, COVID vaccines have also recently been administered to children in Texas and Indiana incorrectly.

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