More minors mistakenly received the COVID-19 vaccine at a hub site, according to a memo sent to Dallas city leaders on Monday.
Dallas Emergency Manager Rocky Vaz notified the mayor and city council members about the vaccination error, writing in part:
"Late yesterday evening we learnt that there were about eighteen youth under the age of 18 that were vaccinated at the Potters House. As you are aware, the Moderna vaccine is currently only approved for people over the age of 18."
In the memo, Vaz blamed the error on an issue with the Dallas County waitlist process that the county is working to resolve, but added staff at the vaccination site would be double-checking birthdates to make sure it does not happen again.
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The memo did not provide the ages of the minors, only stating they were under age 18.
The Dallas County Health Department and County Judge Clay Jenkins has encouraged everyone, regardless of current eligibility to sign up on the waitlist so they can be in line for when they may become eligible.
Yaneth Trevino said her 15-year-old daughter signed up on the county waitlist and then received a vaccination appointment for a Dallas County hub site at The Theater in Grand Prairie.
Trevino said she initially had doubts about the appointment but assumed it was OK since she received confirmation from the county.
"For a moment -- yes, because my daughter is under-aged, but I said 'They are professionals and they know better," Trevino said. "They have control and know who is available and who's not. To me everything was okay."
NBC5 learned an 8-year-old boy was also mistakenly vaccinated at the same Grand Prairie site and other parents reached out to NBC 5 telling us they too received vaccine appointments for their children after registering with the Dallas County waitlist.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins blamed the issue on "human error" with the third party vendor contracted to manage the county waitlist.
In a statement to NBC 5, Judge Jenkins said:
“Dallas County encourages everyone to register on the COVID-19 vaccination waitlist; however, at this time, only individuals 16 years of age and older are authorized and eligible for vaccination. A third party oversees the Dallas County vaccine registration list. An automated sorting process initially identified minors as not yet eligible, and placed them on a list with others not eligible. Once eligibility opened up to include all individuals over age 16, human error at the third party company maintaining the list caused minors to be moved into an eligible group without double-checking for age requirements. The County’s Information Technology department will work with that third party to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that the necessary safeguards are in place for both the automated and manual components of the scheduling system.”
Dr. Beth Kassanoff-Piper with the Dallas County Medical Society said clinical trials are underway to study the effectiveness of the vaccines in teenagers and young children, but approval could still be months away.
"Right now we only want to vaccinate kids in a clinical trial where they can have monitoring, where we can have assessment of the efficacy and the safety of the vaccine," said Dr. Kassanoff-Piper.
For parents of children who mistakenly received the vaccine, she suggests contacting their pediatrician, so any health concerns are addressed.
"At this point, I don't think I would be overly concerned. I don’t think there’s anything that parents need to do right now," said Dr. Kassanoff-Piper.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently only approved for those 16 and up. The Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are only approved for those 18 and up.