Parents Outraged, Frightened After Children Given Faulty Dose of COVID Vaccine


For the second time in less than a week, parents are demanding answers after their children were given the incorrect of COVID vaccine.

The first incident, however, merely involved two children under 10 in Texas who were given adult doses of the vaccine on Oct. 31. This time, it involves over 100 children ages 5-to-11 in Loudoun County, Virginia, who were given diluted versions of the vaccine meant for those 12 and older, according to WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.

Despite the larger number of children who were affected this time, this still isn’t national news — in part because it doesn’t fit the narrative that the Biden administration is effectively rolling out a vaccine for children, and possibly because Google is trying to starve publications that don’t parrot the approved line when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. (We’re trying to fight this at The Western Journal — and you can help us in our fight by subscribing here.)

On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Health confirmed that Ted Pharmacy in Aldie, Virginia administered a diluted version of the inoculation formulated for 12- to 17-year-olds to 112 children younger than 11 on Nov. 3 and 4, according to Washington’s WTTG-TV.

On Nov. 5, state and federal authorities stepped in and ordered the pharmacy to stop administering the shots. The Virginia Department of Health later collected the remainder of the vaccines at the pharmacy.

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Dasha Hermosilla’s daughter, 7-year-old Gryffin Fahle, is one of those affected. She told WRC that Gryffin was given a diluted dose of the vaccine for older kids, which comes with a purple cap. The dose for 5-11 comes with an orange cap to differentiate it.

The pharmacist said this was allowed. All it took was a Google search for Hermosilla to confirm that it wasn’t.

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

She also criticized how the pharmacy treated parents after it happened.

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“The way they have dealt with individuals is really, like, ‘Oh, it’s no big deal,'” Hermosilla said. “There are dozens and dozens of families out there that don’t even know that this is an issue.”

She wasn’t alone.

“Another mom sent News4 a screengrab of a Facebook conversation in which the pharmacy admitted to the mistake and apologized for the ‘inconvenience,'” WRC reported.

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According to WRRC, the Loudoun County Health Department released an alert after the station reported Hermosilla’s case, acknowledging the incident.

The letter stated that the formulation used resulted in the affected children receiving “a dose of COVID19 vaccine that is potentially lower than recommended.”

“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 said in the letter.

Virginia’s Board of Pharmacy, meanwhile, said it is “not at liberty to confirm nor deny whether an investigation into a possible violation of a law or regulation is or is not underway.”

“Should an investigation reveal there is probable cause to believe a law or regulation was broken an Informal Conference or a Formal Hearing before the board may be held for consideration of possible disciplinary action,” the board said in a statement.

“The Board’s findings of fact and resulting actions are contained in a Board Order that becomes a matter of public record available online on the Board of Pharmacy’s website under License Lookup and Recent Case Decisions.”

It’s unclear what this means for the children. As the county health department’s letter stated, the pharmacy’s action meant the children likely received a lower dose than they ordinarily would have.

Even still, Goodfriend’s letter said parents should first contact their pediatrician “for clinical judgment and decision making to determine the best course of action for each patient.”

The letter also urged parents to watch for the traditional COVID-19 vaccine side effects, such as fever, chills, fatigue or pain or swelling at the site of the injection.

“If any additional or more serious side effects occur or are prolonged, contact your primary care provider or pediatrician,” the letter warned.

Parents were then told to log the event in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance says parents can either restart the vaccine series in 21 days or wait for a second dose with the orange cap as scheduled.

In this case, the danger seems less pronounced than it was during a similar incident on Oct. 31 in Garland, Texas, where a 6- and a 7-year-old were both given adult doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before a child formulation had even been approved.

“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-TV in Fort Worth.

“Going off their confidence and what we read [on the form], we were all for it,” he said.

The next day, however, they were contacted by the Garland Health Department, alerting them that the vaccine hadn’t been approved for their son but that they’d received adult doses.

A dose for ages 5-to-11 is 10 micrograms while an adult version contains 30 micrograms. Gonzalez’s son experienced some side effects, while the mother of the 7-year-old said he was fine.

The case in Virginia is worrying for a different reason: It involved 112 children getting faulty vaccinations over a two-day period. And people wonder why some parents are skeptical about vaccinations?

As of Nov. 10, CDC data show only 595 individuals under the age of 17 have officially died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — and this says nothing about whether or not they had pre-existing risk factors. While every death is tragic, of course, 595 is a minuscule fraction of the more than 780,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in the country.

When looking at the cost-benefit analysis of vaccinating a child, that’s something that has to be taken into consideration.

Incidents like the one in Virginia may be rare. However, when it’s questionable whether the vaccination is necessary for this age group at all, it’s enough to give a mother or father pause.

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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