Coronavirus: 70 children in Maryland given expired Pfizer vaccine doses

LARGO, Md. — Seventy children in Maryland ages 5 through 11 received expired doses of the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine due to a storage error, health officials said.

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The children received the doses on Nov. 26, WJLA reported. They were receiving either first or second doses, according to the Prince George’s County Health Department.

The expired doses were mistakenly stored in the refrigerator with usable doses, WRC-TV reported. Health officials told the television station that there was no health risk to the children who received the vaccine at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, but added that the expired doses are likely to be less effective against COVID-19.

The county health department received 300 pediatric Pfizer vaccines on Nov. 19, and all but 70 doses were administered before the expiration date, WUSA reported. However, those 70 doses were not discarded and were stored with viable vaccines.

“We deeply regret the error and we apologize for the concern and inconvenience this has caused families,” George L. Askew, deputy chief administrative officer for Health, Human Services, and Education said in a statement. “As a pediatrician, I want to assure parents that receiving an expired COVID-19 vaccine dose or receiving a replacement dose does not endanger your child’s health. An expired dose may not provide the maximum protection that these vaccines give and that’s why the County quickly made arrangements for each of these children to get revaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Department of Health, Pfizer and the Prince George’s County Health Department recommended that the children should receive a replacement dose, WJLA reported.

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