Two Texas children were given adult doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday — two days before kids’ shots were approved and triple the strength, local authorities have confirmed.
The two boys, aged just 6 and 7, were given the full-strength Pfizer COVID-19 shots after staff at a pop-up clinic in the Dallas suburb of Garland assured their parents it was allowed, the youngest boy’s dad told NBC DFW.
“I’m very angry, I’ll be honest,” dad Julian Gonzalez told the station.
“All I can do is for the moment be level-headed and hope he’s OK.”
Gonzalez said that they had not sought the shot for their son at the church Halloween celebration, but it was suggested to them while several adult family members got boosters.
“One of the workers there who was working at the vaccine station said, ‘By the way we have the vaccine already for the kids available now,’” Gonzalez said.
“They even had a form prepared that had an option to choose the vaccine for the child. It just seemed like everything was prepared and ready for that,” Gonzalez said.
“Going off their confidence … we were all for it,” he told CBS DFW.
Pfizer shots were only approved Tuesday for children aged 5 to 11, and at a dose a third the strength as those injected in Gonzalez’s son and their 7-year-old neighbor.
Gonzalez said he only discovered the error when the Garland Health Department called his family Monday to admit to the error.
“We found out after the fact that the vials for the children’s vaccine should have been different, the needles should have been different … it should have been labeled specifically for kids,” he told the local CBS station.
Julian Gonzalez’ sons — 6 and 7 — were given full-strength Pfizer COVID-19 shots.AP Photo/David Goldman
“How could this happen? The only answer we got is, ‘The proper channels have been notified,’” he told NBC.
“We may come out OK from this but what if it happens somewhere else and someone is not as lucky?” he asked.
His son’s arm hurt and he had a headache and “mild fever,” the alarmed dad said, saying, “He’s just real low energy, just not his usual energetic self a 6-year-old would normally be.”
“We’re just on edge completely until we see this through,” he said.
The mother of the 7-year-old boy — who was not identified — told CBS that he was doing “OK.”
Gonzalez says he “very angry” that his children were given the wrong shots.Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP
The City of Garland confirmed to the stations that “two children under the age of 12 were administered doses of the Pfizer vaccine in error.”
“Health department officials “are in communication with the parents of the children involved, who are monitoring the children for side effects,” the city said.
The department had also “reported the incident to state health officials and are further investigating the circumstances leading up to the error,” the statement said.
City spokesman Saul Garza said the error appeared to revolve around a form that had been prepared in anticipation of Tuesday’s approval, but should not have been in use at the time.