Nearly 100 students receive wrong COVID vaccine dose in Montgomery Co. clinic

Nearly 100 students received a diluted amount of the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic held on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at South Lake Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland.

Parents were notified by phone Monday night of the mix-up, according to a Montgomery County government news release. An additional clinic will be held at the school next Wednesday, Nov. 17, for the affected children to get an additional dose. Children who can’t attend that clinic are being advised to schedule another appointment at their earliest convenience.

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services learned on Saturday that the affected children received an amount of Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine that was more diluted than recommended.

“We apologize for the error, and we are offering another opportunity for the children to be revaccinated,” James Bridgers, acting county health officer, said in the news release.

“We are confident that this is an isolated situation and staff have already received additional training on reconstituting and administering pediatric doses,” he said.

“Staff will continue to receive weekly updates on clinical guidance for the administration of vaccine doses to this age group.”

In a Tuesday statement, the Montgomery County Council said its members were “extremely concerned” about the incident.

“We shared our concerns directly with our Acting Health Officer Dr. James Bridgers who has assured us that the department is conducting a top-to-bottom review of this issue and has identified human error as the cause of the diluted doses,” the council said.

“We understand the anxiety and distress that this mistake has caused for the students who received these diluted doses and their family members, and we will continue working with our public health team to make it right. The Department of Health and Human Services is reaching out to the families impacted and has scheduled an additional vaccination clinic at the school on Nov. 17.”

The council asked that residents not allow “this one situation to deter their commitment to getting their children vaccinated.”

A similar incident happened last week when about 100 children received a potentially lower-than-recommended dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Since the pediatric vaccine was approved by the Food and the Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11,146 children in the 5-to-11 age group have been vaccinated at clinics sponsored by Montgomery County and its school system.

In addition, another 8,061 doses have been administered through local physicians and pharmacies.

Montgomery County leads all Maryland jurisdictions in the number of pediatric doses administered.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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