Indiana parents say their children accidentally received doses of an adult COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shots.
Alexandra and Joshua Price, of Evansville, told WFIE that the family went to a Walgreens store on Oct. 4 so they could all get flu shots.
Instead, the prices say that the pharmacist gave doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine not only to the adults, but also to their five-year-old daughter Sophia and their four-year-old son Lukas.
However, the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for individuals 16 years of age and older and approved for individuals ages 12 to 15.
The company has filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in children ages five to 11.
Prices says their children now suffer from side effects, including high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
Alexandra and Joshua Price, of Evansville, Indiana, took their two children to a Walgreen store on Oct. 4 so they could all get the flu shot. Pictured: Alexandra (far left) and Joshua (second from right) with their two children
Instead, all four of them — including five-year-old Sophia and four-year-old Lukas — were given an adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine. Pictured: The prizes with their two children
Alexandra told WFIE she didn’t know anything was wrong until they got a call from a Walgreens employee about the error.
She and her husband had been fully vaccinated since April 2021, but were not concerned about the extra dose they had received just for their children.
“Walgreens called me to say there was a misunderstanding, we didn’t get a flu shot,” she said.
“And I’m like, ‘Well, what did we get?’ And he said, ‘We got the COVID-19 shot’ and I was like, ‘Well, what does this mean for my kids…?”
Daniel Tuley, the attorney representing the Price family, told WFIE that after the incident, Walgreens issued vaccine cards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the entire family.
The cards clearly show that the children’s birthdays are in 2016 and 2017.
Prices say their kids have been showing side effects since they got the adult doses, including fever, cough, hypertension and heart problems
Both children have since suffered from fever, cough, high blood pressure and a fast heartbeat. Pfizer’s vaccine is only approved for individuals 16 years of age and older and approved for individuals ages 12 to 15. In the photo, left and right: Joshua and Alexandra with their two children
‘[The cardiologist] said our daughter had higher blood pressure than she would like,” Alexandra told WFIE.
“And Luke, our son had tachycardia…” that’s when the heartbeat is too fast.
These problems probably occur because the children were given adult doses.
Children are often the last group tested in vaccine clinical trials because they are not just small adults.
Their bodies and immune systems behave differently, meaning they may have different treatment needs.
In addition, children may need different doses depending on their height, weight and age.
Last month, Pfizer said it had chosen lower doses for COVID-19 vaccine trials in children than it did for teens and adults.
Individuals 12 years of age and older will receive two doses of 30 micrograms (μg) of the vaccine.
However, children between the ages of five and 11 received doses of 10 g and children aged six months to four years received three g doses.
“Due to privacy laws, we are unable to comment on specific patient events,” Walgreens wrote in a statement to WFIE.
“In general, however, such cases are rare and Walgreens takes these matters very seriously. In the event of an error, our primary concern is always the well-being of our patients.
“Our multi-step vaccination procedure includes several safety checks to minimize the potential for human error and we have gone through this process with our pharmacy staff to prevent such occurrences.”