An 8-year-old boy was mistakenly given a COVID-19 vaccine in North Texas last week, officials said, citing “human error.”
The boy’s father reportedly registered the child online, assuming it was alright for the boy to get vaccinated if he could be registered, according to KXAS.
“He was under the assumption that, ‘I submit his information and he got an appointment’,” pediatrician Marcial Oquendo told the outlet. “And when he got an appointment, he was like, ‘we all got an appointment so let’s go’.”
The boy was given a dose of the Moderna vaccine at a facility at the Theatre at Grand Prairie, fire department spokesperson Claudia Garibay told KTVT.
Roughly 3,800 people were vaccinated at the drive-up facility the same day, per KXAS.
No COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for anyone under 16 years old. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been given emergency authorization for those 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been authorized for people 18 and older.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said a third party is in charge of Dallas County’s vaccine registration list.
“Once eligibility opened up to include all individuals over age 16, human error at the third party company maintaining the list caused minors to be moved into an eligible group without double-checking for age requirements,” Jenkins told KTVT, explaining to KXAS that “they failed to scrub for people who were under 18.”
He added that the county’s information technology department is working with the company to make sure it doesn’t happen again “and that the necessary safeguards are in place for both the automated and manual components of the scheduling system.”
Vaccine companies are still studying how the authorized COVID-19 vaccines affect children.
“At this point, we don’t have enough information on children to say that they’re ready to get it at this dose, so it’s just premature for us to be giving it to them,” Dr. Beth Kassanoff-Piper, Dallas County Medical Society president, told WFAA.
On Wednesday, Pfizer announced its COVID-19 vaccine showed 100% efficacy and a robust antibody response in a clinical trial of children aged 12 to 15, exceeding those reported in a trial of people aged 16 to 25.
“The data looks really fabulous, and I expect that they probably will go for that FDA indication relatively quickly now that this information is available,” Kassanoff-Piper told WFAA.
Nearly 4.5 million people in Texas have been fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Nearly 8 million have received at least one dose.