Montgomery County elementary school students given incorrect amount of COVID-19 vaccine

Students at a Montgomery County elementary school were given an incorrect amount of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic held at the school on Wednesday, according to Montgomery County officials.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

Parents of 98 students at South Lake Elementary School in Montgomery Village are being notified Monday night about the incident. The affected children received doses of the Pfizer vaccine that were diluted more than recommended.

An additional clinic will be held at the school on Wednesday, Nov. 17 for the affected children to get an additional dose. Children not able to attend Wednesday’s clinic are advised to have the vaccination repeated at their earliest convenience.

The only students affected were those vaccinated at South Lakes Elementary.

READ MORE: Virginia pharmacy incorrectly administered COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services learned on Saturday that the affected children received an amount of Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine that was diluted more than recommended. The staff person realized their mistake and notified officials.

FOX 5 has been told when the vaccine arrives in a box, as it did at South Lake Elementary School, via various shipment carriers, it is not pre-measured — which could leave room for human error.

FOX 5 learned that typically a nurse measures and mixes, meaning the dose has to be correctly allocated.

Health officials consulted with the Maryland Department of Health and Pfizer, who recommended that the children receive an additional dose as soon as possible.

"We apologize for the error, and we are offering another opportunity for the children to be revaccinated," said Dr. James Bridgers, acting County health officer. "We are confident that this is an isolated situation and staff have already received additional training on reconstituting and administering pediatric doses." Staff will continue to receive weekly updates on clinical guidance for the administration of vaccine doses to this age group."

READ MORE: Montgomery County schools revise COVID-19 quarantine policy

Since the pediatric vaccine was approved by the Food and the Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11,146 children in this age group have been vaccinated at clinics sponsored by the County and Montgomery County Public Schools.

The latest statistics indicate 3 out of 10 parents want their 5 to 11-year-old child vaccinated as soon as possible.
The main concern surrounds potential unknown long-term effects.

In addition, another 8,061 doses have been administered through local physicians and pharmacies. Montgomery County leads all Maryland jurisdictions in the number of pediatric doses administered.