'Human error': Boy, 8, given coronavirus vaccine by mistake

Brianne Tolj
·2-min read

A boy, 8, has accidentally been given a Covid-19 vaccine at a drive-thru site.

The child and his father from Dallas, in the US state of Texas, were part of a group of 3800 people who recently received the jab, Grand Prairie Fire Department Chief Robert Fite told NBC DFW.

He said the dad didn’t know his child was not eligible for the shot, being under the age of 18, and had been able to register the boy for an appointment.

Healthcare workers take down personal information from those waiting in line to receive the first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Odessa, Texas.
A boy, 8, has accidentally been given a Covid-19 vaccine at a Texas drive-thru site. Source: AAP

“They’re in the car, there’s a code, the paramedic did what that paramedic did for thousands of others for that day and went ahead and gave the vaccination, and did not realise it was a child under the age of 18,” Chief Fite said.

“We had some questions about how a child under 18 could even get registered.

“If there was a fail system in place, then we wouldn’t even have to worry because you couldn’t get registered. If they got a QR code, part of our assumption is they understand who should be registered and who should not.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has chalked up the incident to “human error”, according to KXAN.

“He was put in the suspended ineligible list,” Judge Jenkins said.

Syringes are prepared during a mass Covid-19 vaccination event held by the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has chalked up the incident to 'human error'. Source: AAP

“There was human error, and that list was moved over to get the people who were under 50 onto the eligible list. They failed to scrub for people who were under 18.”

The eight-year-old’s dad didn’t realise the error until he spoke with the boy’s paediatrician, Dr Marcial Oquendo, who informed him the Food and Drug Administration had not approved any vaccines for kids under 16.

Dr Oquendo told the publication there was not enough data to show if the vaccine works, or is safe, for kids, especially under the age of 12.

“It needs to be in a controlled setting of a clinical trial where we are monitoring every possible angle to be able to say if it’s safe and effective to use in kids in this age group,” he said.

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