Dallas County said human error is to blame for the vaccination of an 8-year-old at one of its sites. Friday, another parent came forward saying her toddler was registered for the vaccine in Dallas County. Thanks to her vigilance, she said she knew not to move forward with the appointment.
But she fears for other parents.
Jenny Tyer signed up several family members for the COVID-19 vaccine through Dallas County’s website, including her 23-month-old son. She followed guidance from county leaders and figured his name wouldn’t be called for a while.
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To her surprise, though, she received a confirmation text, saying her toddler son had secured an appointment for April 1.
“I told my husband, ‘Haha, they signed up Elliot. What are they doing over there?’ And his response was ‘Some poor parent is going to go spend time going down there.’ We never thought that they would give a kid a vaccine,” said Tyer.
Dallas County Judge Jenkins confirms an 8-year-old boy did get a vaccine. In a statement following the incident, Jenkins said an automated sorting process eliminated minors who were not eligible for the vaccine, but there was human error.
“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”
Dr. Beth Kassanoff-Piper is President of the Dallas County Medical Society. She said clinical trials for children look promising, but it’s still important to follow current CDC guidelines.
“We want everybody to be on the same page. We want parents, we want children of adults, we want the elderly, you know, everybody to understand when it's their time to get it,” said Dr. Kassonoff-Piper. “It's not a good idea to be vaccinating people outside of what we have proven data for at this time.”
Tyer says she’s thankful she realized the confirmation text was a mistake, but she admits, as a parent, it’s difficult to keep up with ever-changing eligibility protocols.
“Honestly, I believe they [parents] were trying to do what they thought was best for their kid,” said Tyer.
Moderna has begun clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine on children under the age of 12. However, the vaccine has only been authorized for Americans 18 years of age and older.
Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and 100% effective in preventing the illness in teenagers ages 12 to 15. The vaccine, given in two doses three weeks apart, is cleared for emergency use in people ages 16 and up.