The Canadian Press
May 31, 2021
Vancouver Coastal Health is apologizing and says it’s updating its immunization processes after confirming a dozen incidents in which youth were given the wrong COVID-19 vaccine.
The health authority says the errors happened Friday and Saturday during the first full week that kids aged 12 to 17 could get their first dose.
It says in a statement that 12 youth received doses of Moderna rather than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in those between 12 and 17 in Canada.
It says Moderna recently announced that clinical trials for adolescents found its vaccine to be safe and effective, but its use for people under 18 has yet to be approved in Canada.
The statement says Vancouver Coastal Health medical officers do not believe the use of Moderna will impact the 12 youth who received the shot.
It says the people who administered the shots recognized their error and disclosed it to the clients and their families, and additional education and processes are now in place to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Vancouver Coastal Health says Pfizer had been the only vaccine available at its clinics for an extended period, until this past weekend, when Moderna was the primary shot being offered, which led to the errors.
“With both a new age cohort and a different vaccine on site, errors were made on May 28-29, in which immunizers used the Moderna vaccine instead of the Pfizer product for adolescents,” it says.
Clinics will have dedicated staff and stations for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines where feasible, it says, and new questions to identify youth under 18 have been added to the immunizer’s screening checklist.