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Family Visits Walgreens for Flu Shots — Pharmacy Wrongly Injects Kids with Full COVID Vaccine Doses

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

A couple in southern Indiana visited a local Walgreens last week to get flu shots for themselves and their two children, ages 4 and 5 years old. They were horrified when they learned shortly after leaving the pharmacy that all four of them had been injected with the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19.

Believing everything was alright, Alexandra and John Price said they received a phone call from an employee at the Evansville Walgreens not long after they returned home. The pharmacy told the parents they and their two young kids were wrongly given COVID-19 vaccinations, which are not approved for children under 12 years old.

The Prices immediately took their young children to see a pediatric cardiologist, who told the couple their daughter was exhibiting high blood pressure and their son was experiencing tachycardia, which causes an irregular heartbeat.

“You hope it’s just the stress from being at the doctor’s office and unfamiliar response, but, at the same time, you’re like, ‘What if it’s not?’” Alexandra Price told the local outlet WFIE-TV. “You worry constantly. They’ve been sleeping in our bed in our room since Monday night of last week, so we can keep an eye on them. And it’s just — no one knows what to expect, because there’s not a lot out there to help us.”

The family’s attorney, Daniel Tuley, showed WFIE-TV what appeared to be vaccination record cards, showing the children were born in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Walgreens said the pharmacy is working to make sure similar incidents don’t occur in the future.

“Patient safety is our top priority, and, due to privacy laws, we cannot comment on specific patient events,” the representative said. “But, generally speaking, such instances are rare and Walgreens takes these matters very seriously. In the event of any error, our first concern is always our patients’ well-being. Our multi-step vaccination procedure includes several safety checks to minimize the chance of human error and we have reviewed this process with our pharmacy staff in order to prevent such occurrences.”

Tuley has not yet filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Prices.

As of Monday, WFIE-TV reported, the 4-year-old boy is sick with a cough and a fever and the 5-year-old girl has developed a fever.

The error at the Walgreens location in Indiana comes as Pfizer is pushing for an emergency use authorization from the federal government to give smaller doses of the COVID-19 inoculation to children ages 5 to 11 years old.

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