Several young children were mistakenly given adult doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the health products regulator.
The errors came to light when the children came to mass vaccination centres for their second dose of the vaccine, the Irish Examiner reports, and vaccinators spotted incorrect information on their card.
A child’s dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, known as Comirnaty, is 10mg and the adult dose is 30mg.
One of the seven children affected experienced a mild adverse effect following the adult dosage.
“All seven reports were in association with the first dose of Comirnaty, with the majority administered in vaccination centres and the remaining administered in pharmacy/GP practice setting,” a spokeswoman for the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) said.
“No suspected side effects were described as being experienced in six of the reports with one report describing fatigue for a short duration.”
The 30mg adult dose of the Pfizer vaccine has a purple cap on the vial, while the 10mg dose for children aged five to 11 has an orange cap.
The HSE’s National Immunisation Office (NIO) has requested all staff in mass vaccination centres be reminded of this difference.
“Cormirnaty vaccine for those aged 12 and older (purple cap) is not to be administered to children aged 5-11 years,” the reminder notice states.
“Parents of children in this age group who wish to have their children vaccinated should be directed to the HSE website to make an appointment at a HSE website.”
By February 2nd, just over one month into the rollout for this cohort, 17.3 per cent of children aged 5-11 were partially vaccinated and 3.1 per cent fully vaccinated according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
Meanwhile, teenagers aged 12 to 17 are 75.6 per cent fully vaccinated with 3.2 per cent partially vaccinated.