Two boys, ages 6 and 7, mistakenly received adult doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic set up by the Garland Health Department at a festive Halloween party at the church, the city said.
“I’m very angry, I have to be honest,” said Julian Gonzalez, the father of the 6-year-old boy. “All I can do at the moment is be indifferent and hope he’s OK.”
Gonzalez and several other adult family members went to the event to get boosters for themselves.
Gonzalez’s son was with them.
“And we’re waiting, and one of the workers there who worked at the vaccine station said, ‘By the way, we already have the vaccine for the kids available now,'” Gonzalez said. “We said, ‘Really?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ “
So they agreed.
“They had even drawn up a form that had an option to choose the vaccine for the child. It just seemed like everything was prepared and ready for it,” Gonzalez said.
A 7-year-old neighbor also got the shot.
Gonzalez’s wife was called Monday by a Garland official who said it was all a mistake.
But Gonzalez said the official was apologetic and would not answer their questions.
“All they kept saying was, ‘The right channels have been notified,'” Gonzalez said. “No matter what, no matter what answer we tried to get – how did it happen? How could this happen? – the only answer we got is, ‘The right channels have been notified.’
Vaccines have not received the final government approval for children.
The adult dose they gave in Garland is about three times stronger than what experts consider for young children.
Gonzalez said his son’s arm hurts from the injection but also has other symptoms.
“He had a mild fever,” said the father. “And during the day he’s had headaches and he’s just really low energy, just not his usual energetic self, a 6-year-old would normally be.”
Other children have in rare cases received the vaccine by mistake.
“The most important thing is that these children are likely to be OK,” said Plano pediatrician Dr. Marcial Oquendo.
The same form that Gonzalez got for kids to sign up for was still on Garland’s website Monday night.
City spokesman Saul Garza said the city would remove it immediately, apologized to the families involved and promised the city would be happy to answer any of their concerns.
The form was drafted in anticipation that pediatric vaccines would soon receive final approval, Garza said.
Gonzalez said he still has questions.
“I think there needs to be control and balance. How did it get to this level? ” asked Gonzalez. “We can get good out of this, but what if it happens somewhere else and someone is not so lucky?”