Age-Related Vaccine Administration Errors

While technological advances have reduced the likelihood of most Maryland age-related vaccine errors, the COVID-19 vaccine has reignited some of these issues. Research indicates administration errors are more likely to occur to those: receiving an injection at an uncommon age, with vaccines that have age-specific dosing, and with vaccines given less frequently. The findings suggest that those receiving a vaccine off-schedule may be more likely to experience an administration error.

A typical example of this error involves the COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control indicates that the COVID-19 are safe and effective against severe disease. However, the public must receive the appropriate dosage at the correct time. For example, the Pharmacy Times advises the public to be aware of the rising rate of age-related COVID-19 vaccine mix-ups.

On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized emergency use of certain COVID-19 vaccines for youth between the ages of 5-11 years old. Since that time, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) reports receiving hundreds of mix-up reports involving the formulation for those over 12 years old and the pediatric formulation. The majority of the mix-ups occurred at physician offices, public health clinics, community pharmacies, and outpatient clinics. The reports indicate that children between 5 to 11 years old received under or overdoses, and children 12 years or older received underdoses.

The ISMP reports that some of the errors involve vial or syringe errors. The agency believes that the confusion may result from ineffective packaging, unclear labeling, and missing dosage. For example, pediatric vials and vials for older children have different colored caps; however, once the administrator removes the cap, it is difficult to differentiate between the vials. Other contributing factors may be the rising number of patients and inexperienced vaccinators.

Caregivers should confirm their child’s age and vaccine before every vaccination appointment. While caregivers can take steps to reduce the likelihood of Maryland pharmaceutical errors, this onerous burden should remain with a trained pharmacist or technician. Pharmacists should clearly label individual syringes, property document the vaccine, ensure appropriate staffing, report all errors, segregate vaccines based on age, and implement barcode scanning. Those who fail to engage in these necessary steps may be liable for any vaccine injuries that a child experiences because of this negligence.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Medication or Vaccine Error?

If you or someone you care for has experienced an injury because of a negligent pharmacy or pharmaceutical company, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen. The attorneys at our office have extensive experience representing clients in Maryland pharmacy error claims resulting from another’s negligence. In addition to Maryland pharmaceutical error cases, the attorneys handle defective product cases, premises liability claims, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and negligence, and wrongful death claims. Our diligent and highly reputable attorneys have secured significant amounts of compensation for our clients. Contact the personal injury lawyers at our office by calling 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.


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