Workers at the Ted Pharmacy in Aldie vaccinated the kids using vials that were intended for individuals aged 12 and older, instead of the special vaccine formulation that was recently authorized for emergency use by federal health officials for children between the ages of 5 and 11, according to a letter issued to parents by the Loudon County Health Department that was obtained by The Epoch Times.
“This resulted in a dose of COVID-19 vaccine that is potentially lower than recommended,” said the letter, written by Loudoun County Health Department director Dr. David Goodfriend, dated Nov. 10.
The Virginia Department of Health “recommends that parents review the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) guidance and contact their health care provider to discuss options to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series,” he also wrote.
“The pharmacy who administered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination to your child last week has been removed from both state and federal COVID-19 vaccination programs,” Goodfriend added, saying it handed over its vaccines to local health officials.
Speaking to CNBC, Goodfriend confirmed the incident and explained that Ted Pharmacy “attempted to provide a proper dose” by administering about a third of the adult dose. He cautioned, however, that “a lower dose is possible if not all of the 0.1 [milliliters] was administered into muscle.”
Only Pfizer’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration for use in children aged 5 to 11. The CDC gave the authorization for the vaccine for younger kids on Nov. 2.
Goodfriend said the agency is not aware of any child receiving too much of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Ted Pharmacy earlier this month. Children in the 5 to 11 age group are supposed to receive a two-dose, 10 microgram vaccine, whereas adults and children aged 12 and older get 30 microgram shots.
The Virginia Department of Health said in a statement to news outlets that federal and state officials “ordered the pharmacy to discontinue administering the vaccine” starting Nov. 5, while authorities “collected all COVID-19 vaccines at the pharmacy.” It confirmed that about 112 children were affected between Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.
“Officials instructed the pharmacy to notify parents about next steps, including the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding whether patients should restart the vaccine series or receive a correct second dose,” the agency’s statement continued. “[The Virginia Department of Health] is also working to contact parents and ensure they understand the guidance on next steps.”
One parent, Dasha Hermosilla, told News4 that a pharmacist at Ted Pharmacy gave her daughter, Gryffin, a diluted dose of the vaccine for older individuals. She noted that the vaccine vial for people aged 12 and older comes in a purple cap, not the orange cap for younger children.
“Nothing says that you can change a purple to an orange,” Hermosilla explained. “I had this pit in my stomach that, like, what did they just do to my daughter?”
The Epoch Times has contacted Ted Pharmacy and the Virginia Department of Health for comment.
Correction: Pfizer’s vaccine has not been fully approved for children aged 5 to 11. The Epoch Times regrets the error.