If you’ve ever wondered why some parents remain skeptical when it comes to both the necessity and the risks of COVID-19 vaccination for children, you need look only to Garland, Texas.
According to KTVT-TV in Fort Worth, two boys, ages 6 and 7, were mistakenly given adult doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine at a pop-up clinic, two days before a proper dose of the vaccine was even approved for that age range.
And yet despite the troubling implications, the incident hasn’t made its way through the national media the way a human interest story like this normally would.
For some publishers, it simply doesn’t fit the narrative. For conservative publishers like The Western Journal, it’s worth noting, Google is trying to starve us if we say anything out of line about COVID or vaccines. (It’s also worth noting you can help us fight Google’s attempt to censor the truth by subscribing to The Western Journal here.)
Whatever the case, the parents are demanding answers after nurses at the clinic at Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church recommended the shot to two families during the Sunday event, saying they could receive the vaccine.
“They asked us our kids’ ages, and so we told them 4 and 6, and they said ‘the 6-year-old can obviously get it if you’d like to go ahead and do that,'” Julian Gonzalez, father of the 6-year-old, told KTVT.
“Going off their confidence and what we read [on the form], we were all for it,” he said.
According to the report, Gonzalez’s family was given a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine consent form that said their child was eligible. Another family, neighbors of Gonzalez, also had the shot recommended to them for their 7-year-old.
As of Sunday, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hadn’t approved the shot for children ages 5-11.
On Monday, Gonzalez and the family of the 7-year-old received calls from the Garland Health Department alerting them not only that the vaccine hadn’t been approved but also that the children had received adult doses.
Those doses contained three times the recommended amount of vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds that was approved on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail.
A kids’ dose contains 10 micrograms of the mRNA vaccine, whereas the adult version contains 30 micrograms of the drug.
“Pfizer researchers tested out a couple of different dose options in clinical trials. They found that the 10 microgram dose can lead to fewer side effects for kids while still teaching their immune systems to recognize and fight off the coronavirus,” the Daily Mail’s Betsy Ladyzhets reported.
“According to Pfizer’s data, the low dose caused a similar antibody response for young kids as the standard, adult dose does for teenagers and young adults.”
Why, then, did they get the adult version of the drug — especially when a version for children wasn’t even formally approved?
“We found out after the fact that the vials for the children’s vaccine should have been different, the needles should have been different … it should have been labeled specifically for kids so … where did that decision come from?” Gonzalez said.
“Who was it that told them they could go ahead and offer it?”
Both boys are doing all right at present.
Gonzalez said his son had experienced some side effects but was feeling better. His pediatrician said there likely weren’t going to be any issues, but he was still being monitored.
The mother of the 7-year-old, meanwhile, said her son was doing “OK” after the shot.
Still, Gonzalez said he was seriously unnerved by the mix-up.
“We’re just on edge completely until we see this through,” he told KTVT.
In a statement, the city of Garland, which had promoted the vaccine event on social media, promised an “investigation” into the matter.
The Garland Public Health Department will be offering the COVID-19 vaccine for those needing their 1st or 2nd dose, as well as booster doses for those who qualify. Oh and come in costume and get some special treats! #GarlandTX #TrunkOrTreat https://t.co/ZEGO0pgtIr pic.twitter.com/BglADegIPz
— Garland Texas (@garlandtxgov) October 27, 2021
“The City of Garland Health Department (GHD) is reporting that two children under the age of 12 were administered doses of the Pfizer vaccine in error this weekend,” the statement read, according to KTVT.
“GHD officials are in communication with the parents of the children involved, who are monitoring the children for side effects,” it said. “GHD also has reported the incident to state health officials and are further investigating the circumstances leading up to the error.
“The safety and privacy of our patients is always our top priority. Due to patient privacy, we cannot share additional information at this time.”
Parents who aren’t willing to jump with both feet into vaccinating their children are often ridiculed as anti-vaxxers — even if they’ve taken the jab themselves.
Perhaps incidents like this unsettle them. Perhaps they’re not convinced the benefits outweigh the perceived risks, particularly given the more limited data in younger populations. Or perhaps they’re looking at one key number: 576.
That, as of Nov. 3, is the number of people under the age of 18 who have officially died of COVID-19 in the United States, according to CDC data. This doesn’t break down whether there were other underlying conditions, either.
And yet there’s now a push to vaccinate everyone over the age of 5, even if his or her risk of dying of COVID is next to nothing.
Parents can and should make the decision to vaccinate their children for themselves without ridicule or a shove from federal, state and local authorities — period.
No, this situation isn’t likely to happen to their child. The fact it happened at all, however, should give us pause in the mad rush to get shots in every arm we can, no matter how the owner of that arm — or the parent of the owner — might feel about it.
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