WILMINGTON — If parents want to ensure their child is receiving the proper dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine, all they have to do is look at the color of the vial, said Delaware Division of Public Health director Dr. Karyl Rattay.
Amid some isolated cases across the country of some children accidentally receiving the wrong dosage of the vaccine, Dr. Rattay said she is not aware of any instances in Delaware.
Pfizer’s vaccine for the newly eligible 5- to 11-year-old age group comes in an vial with an orange cap instead of a purple vial which is for those 12 and up.
“If you see the orange vial, you’re good,” Dr. Rattay said. “If you’re seeing the purple vial, please ask if you’re getting the right vaccine.”
The 5- to 11-year-old vaccine is one-third of the dosage of the adult vaccine.
“It is a very separate product,” Dr. Rattay said. “There’s been a lot of communication out to vaccine providers that for this population, you’ve got to use the orange formulation.”
There have been a few instances nationwide where children between the ages of 5-11 have received the incorrect vaccine. Some received the adult version by mistake while others received a smaller dose of the vaccine than what is recommended.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, 98 students at a vaccine clinic received a dose that was diluted more than recommended, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release this week.
Earlier this month, Virginia officials announced an Aldi pharmacy was ordered to stop administering COVID-19 vaccines after it gave 112 children between ages 5 and 11 vaccine formulas for older children or adults, but in smaller amounts. Tuesday, state officials said a Lorton pharmacy also administered the wrong dose to about 25 children and has been removed from COVID vaccination programs, according to the Fairfax County Health Department.
Last weekend in California, 14 Bay Area children were also mistakenly given the adult vaccine.
A few hundred children were affected by these improper dosages — a small fraction of the country’s 2.6 million 5- to 11-year-olds who have received their shots as of Wednesday, which makes up about 10% of the eligible population, according to the White House.
Delaware has administered 6,861 doses to children between the ages of 5 and 11, which is 8.8% of the state’s age demographic.
The state has already hosted several vaccination clinics specifically for students in that age group. The Christiana School District held two clinics Saturday, one at Kirk Middle School in Newark and another at The Bancroft School in Wilmington.
Downstate, Beebe Healthcare has hosted a vaccination event for school-age children the last two Saturdays. The Kent County Coalition is also planning a vaccination clinic at Towne Point Elementary School in Dover for a date to be announced.