An 8-year-old Texas boy was accidentally given a dose of Covid-19 vaccine at a drive-thru site in what authorities there are calling an "oversight" and "human error." The child recently was given the vaccine at the Dallas County drive-up vaccine facility, which is operated by first responders in Grand Prairie after the boy's father registered him online through a county Web site and got an appointment, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
The realized the mistake only after talking to the pediatrician but by that time it was already too late and the boy was inoculated by that time. However, what's strange is that the first responders didn't object or notice the mistake when the 8-year-old boy was taken to the clinic for the vaccination.
According to Fire Chief Robert Fite of the Grand Prairie Fire Department said 3,800 people were vaccinated on that day, when the boy was also given the vaccine by mistake. "They're in the car, there's a code, the paramedic did what that paramedic did for thousands of others for that day and went ahead and gave the vaccination and did not realize it was a child under the age of 18," said Fite.
Presently, three Covid-19 vaccines are available in the United States, which are for use only on individuals 18 and older or 16 and older, depending on the maker. Covid-19 vaccine for children is still in trial stages by multiple makers, so he doesn't qualify for the vaccine at all.
The boy's father said he did not know that his child wasn't eligible and was under the impression that all are qualified for inoculation. He said he was able to register his son and got an appointment.
Pediatrician Marcial Oquendo told the news outlet that the child's father, who was not identified, also cannot be blamed for the mistake completely as he was able to register and was given a QR code when he enrolled his son's name.
The boy's father only realized that a mistake was made after speaking with Oquendo but his son had already received the vaccine dose by that time. "He was under the assumption that, 'I submit his information and he got an appointment,'" said Oquendo. "And when he got an appointment, he was like, 'we all got an appointment so let's go.'"
Who Is at Fault?
Following the vaccination doctors are worried about how boy now responds, although no adverse effect has been reported so far. "We don't have the data, especially under the age of 12 to say if it works, is it safe, how much should we use, which kid can get it and which kids can't," said Oquendo. "It needs to be in a controlled setting of a clinical trial where we are monitoring every possible angle to be able to say if it's safe and effective to use in kids in this age group."
Fite said that the department plans to track down the paramedic who administered the shot and find out more information about how the mishap occurred. "We had some questions about how a child under 18 could even get registered," he said. "If there was a fail system in place, then we wouldn't even have to worry because you couldn't get registered. If they got a QR code, part of our assumption is they understand who should be registered and who should not."
He said they are also looking for answers from Dallas County officials about why the boy was allowed to get an appointment.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said "human error" allowed the boy's age to go unnoticed through the process and was what allowed him to get a coveted vaccine appointment. "He was put in the suspended ineligible list. There was human error, and that list was moved over to get the people who were under 50 onto the eligible list. They failed to scrub for people who were under 18," said Jenkins.