14 children get wrong COVID vaccine dose at NorCal clinic

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Several children in Northern California were administered the wrong dose of the COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, Sutter Health confirmed to KTLA sister station KRON.

“14 patients at our Antioch pediatric vaccine clinic received vaccines with an incorrect amount of diluent. As soon as we learned of this, we contacted the parents and advised them of CDC guidance in this situation. The safety of our patients is our top priority, and we immediately reviewed our processes to help make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Dr. Jimmy Hu, Chair of the Sutter Health COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and Pediatrician.

Patients who receive an incorrect diluent volume may experience more arm soreness, fatigue, headache or a fever, Hu adds, citing the CDC.

Denise Iserloth told KGO-TV  that the clinic notified her about 10 hours after her children, ages 8 and 11, had received 20 micrograms of vaccine instead of the recommended 10. Both children were home sick Monday with bad stomach aches, she said.

“We would have assumed that there was more in place to prevent this from happening, but obviously at this place there wasn’t,” said her husband, Shawn Iserloth.

A diluent is a normal, preservative-free saline (0.9% sodium chloride) that is mixed with the vaccine.

It comes in a separate vial from the vaccine, and medical officials are supposed to prepare each dose with a new vial of diluent and a new vial of vaccine each time, according to the CDC’s Pfizer vaccine preparation guide.

For kids ages 5-11 years old, the vaccine is supposed to include 1.3 mL of diluent, according to the CDC. This age group’s diluent dose comes with an orange cap to differentiate from the diluents for people 12 years and up.

Sutter Health would not clarify whether the children were given extra diluent or less.

If a child was given less diluent, they should not repeat the dose and their parent or guardian should be made aware of potential side effects. If the child was given extra diluent, then the vaccine administrator should repeat the dose immediately, according to the CDC.

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