A southern Indiana couple brought their 4- and 5-year-old children to Walgreens to receive the flu shot earlier this month, but instead, the young kids were given doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the parents and their attorney allege.
Alexandra and Joshua Price say the situation transpired on Oct. 4 at a Walgreens in Evansville, Indiana.
The family left the pharmacy, thinking all was well and that the kids were given flu shots. But later, a Walgreens employee called and said they made a mistake.
Both kids had been given full adult doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the family learned.
“Walgreens called me to say there was a mix up, we did not receive the flu shot,” Alexandra said in an interview with WFIE, the NBC affiliate in Evansville. “And I’m like well what did we get? And he was like we got the COVID-19 shot, And instantly I was like, well what does this mean for my kids...?”
The children were issued vaccination cards, the family's attorney, Daniel Tuley explained, because doses of the vaccine had been administered. At 4 and 5 years old, both children are well below 12 years old, the minimum age required to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The pharmaceutical company is seeking approval for children ages 5 to 11, but if approved, children in the age bracket would be given one-third of the adult dose.
Tuley, the family attorney, said both children began showing signs of heart issues and were taken to a pediatric cardiologist.
“[The cardiologist] said our daughter was having higher blood pressure than she would like,” Alexandra said.
Their son, she explained, was experiencing tachycardia, where one's heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute.
For now, the parents are focused on their kids' health and making sure Walgreens is held responsible for what happened.
"We want them to be held accountable for making not one but four mistakes that could put our kids lives at risk, and we want to make sure this doesn't happen again," Alexandra said.
As of Friday, a lawsuit hadn't been filed against the company.
What led up to the mix-up still remains unclear.
In a statement to NBC 5, a Walgreens spokesperson said patient safety is its top priority and privacy laws prohibit the company from "commenting on specific patient events."
"...Generally speaking, such instances are rare, and Walgreens takes these matters very seriously," the statement continued. "In the event of any error, our first concern is always our patients’ well-being. Our multi-step vaccination procedure includes several safety checks to minimize the chance of human error and we have reviewed this process with our pharmacy staff in order to prevent such occurrences."