WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- An Indiana family says their children were accidentally administered adult Covid-19 vaccines, rather than a flu shot.
- The family accused a Walgreens employee of giving the Covid-19 vaccines to their 4- and 5-year-old children.
- The children were taken to a pediatric cardiologist who told them they were both showing signs of heart issues.
A Southern Indiana family says their 4- and 5-year-old children were mistakenly given adult COVID-19 vaccines, rather than a flu shot. They accused a Walgreens employee of administering the vaccination which has not been approved for children younger than 12.
The family of four went to a Walgreens in Evansville to get their flu shots on October 4, but after they left the pharmacy, they say an employee called to inform them of the mistake, WFIE-TV, a local television news station reported.
The family was then given COVID-19 vaccine cards, which showed that the children, born in 2016 and 2017, were given the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, WFIE reported.
The children have been taken to a pediatric cardiologist, and the family was told they were both showing signs of heart issues, and the younger child has been sick with a fever and cough, WFIE reported.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended to prevent serious illness in adults, it has not been approved for anyone younger than 12 years old.
Pfizer announced last week that it had submitted its COVID-19 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old to the FDA for approval—though children as young as 4 would still not be eligible. However, children in this age group would be given a third of the dosage compared to those given in adults.
Research showed that despite the lesser doses, younger children were able to develop levels of virus-fighting antibodies as effective as in teens and young adults.
If approved, the vaccine rollout could begin within the next few weeks.
This is not the first instance of a young child mistakingly being given the COVID-19 vaccine. A 4-year-old in Maryland was accidentally given a COVID-19 dose instead of the flu shot at the end of September at a local Walgreens, WBFF-TV, a local TV news station, reported.
Walgreens said in a statement to the TV station at the time that “events like this are extremely rare and we take this matter very seriously.”
In April, an 8-year-old boy was vaccinated at a Texas drive-through vaccine site after his father did not know he was not eligible for the vaccine, KXAN-TV reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls vaccine administration errors “preventable,” and if someone under the age of 12 is given a dose, they are not to receive the second.
Newsweek reached out to the family’s lawyer, Daniel Tuley and Walgreens for comment Monday morning but had not heard back by publication.