It's Happened Again: Maryland School Gives Almost 100 Kids Wrong Vaccine Dose


For the second time in less than a week, dozens of children in the Washington, D.C., area were given the wrong dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

According to WTOP-TV in Washington, almost 100 students at South Lake Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland, received a diluted amount of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine during a clinic on Nov. 10.

Parents of 98 children were notified by phone of the mistake on Monday. To make up for the diluted amount, the kids who received the incorrect dosage will receive an additional shot this Wednesday. If the child can’t attend that, their parents will have to schedule a make-up dose appointment when they can.

Even though this is the second such child vaccination hiccup in the same area in a week, the story still hasn’t gotten much mention nationally — in part, no doubt, because it doesn’t fit the narrative for some outlets or because tech giants like Google are demonetizing publications that do run with this. (The Western Journal is dedicated to fighting this — and if you appreciate our coverage, please consider subscribing.)

“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 diluted more than recommended. The staff person realized their mistake and notified officials,” the department said in a news release Monday.

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“Health officials consulted with the Maryland Department of Health and Pfizer, who recommended that the children receive an additional dose as soon as possible.”

“We apologize for the error, and we are offering another opportunity for the children to be revaccinated,” said Dr. James Bridgers, acting Montgomery County health officer, in the statement.

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

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

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However, the Montgomery County Council said they were  “extremely concerned” about the kids being given the wrong vaccine.

“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 in a statement, according to WTOP.

“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 incident came just a week after another D.C.-area vaccination issue involving diluted Pfizer doses, this one in Loudoun County, Virginia — ground zero for bad news involving minors as of late, apparently.

Unlike the situation in Maryland, however, this was less of a mistake and didn’t involve public schools. According to Washington’s WRC-TV, Ted Pharmacy in Aldie, Virginia, was giving children between the ages of 5-11 a diluted dose of the vaccine used for kids aged 12-17 on Nov. 3 and 4.

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Given that the dose for the older kids has a purple cap and the dose for the younger ones has an orange cap, the dilution seems to be of an intentional nature. This is especially true given that one mother, Dasha Hermosilla, said she asked the pharmacist if it was OK to give her 7 year old a shot out of a vial with the purple cap and they said yes. A quick internet search revealed this was incorrect.

“Nothing says that you can change a purple to an orange,” Hermosilla said. “I had this pit in my stomach that, like, what did they just do to my daughter?”

Officials later acknowledged that Ted Pharmacy had given the incorrect dosage to 112 children.

“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,” said Loudoun County Department of Health Director David Goodfriend in a letter.

In that case, officials said the diluted vaccine ended with kids getting a lower dose than they should have; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance said parents could either restart their child’s vaccine series in 21 days or go ahead with a second dose using the orange cap as scheduled.

These are two events in one metro area over the space of one week. It’s not even counting the children who’ve been given adult doses of the vaccine in Garland, Texas, or Miami-Dade County, Florida.

None of these instances have resulted in a serious reaction that we know of — yet. The problem is that if they keep happening, the likelihood something does occur increases significantly.

And the media wonders why some parents still have questions about vaccinating their children?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture