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Miami-Dade mother upset after 5-year-old son was given adult dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Erin Slutak is all about the vaccines and said that she would get her son vaccinated again, but is urging parents to pay extra attention.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – COVID-19 vaccine vials purposely come in different colors.

They have a purple cap if the dose is for adults and an orange cap if it’s for kids.

Erin Slutak had no luck trying to get the shot through her son’s pediatrician, but she found a Walgreens in southwest Miami-Dade that had availability on Tuesday so she brought 5-year-old Landon.

“I have no clue how this even happens,” she said. “Before he gave him the shot, I asked him is this the child vaccine and he assured me that it was.”

But while waiting 30 minutes, Slutak was told her son had accidentally been given the adult dose.

“I didn’t know what to do…do I take him to the ER?” she wondered.

She showed Local 10 News’ Hatzel Vela the Walgreens document that shows her son did get the wrong dosage.

“He said that he was concentrating on my son’s allergies,” Slutak said. “He was more concerned that my son has allergies, and he was worried about that as opposed to giving him the proper vaccine.”

Dr. Marcos Mestre is the chief medical officer at Niklaus Children’s Hospital. He said this is an unlikely case, but urges parents to ask questions.

He also said that during clinical trials, some kids did get the higher dose and they saw some side effects.

“More headaches, a little bit more fever, a little more fatigue,” said Dr. Mestre. “So likely not going to have any serious consequences but something to monitor in terms of any sort of side effects that could occur.”

He said parents should especially pay attention to symptoms like chest pains or shortness of breath.

Slutak is all about the vaccines and said that if she had to do it again, she would.

That being said, she is still asking parents to pay extra attention to try and ensure no mistakes, like what happened to her son, are made.

Local 10 News reached out to Walgreens in regard to the incident, and received the following statement:

Due to patient privacy laws, we cannot comment on specific patients. In general events like these are rare and we take this matter very seriously.  In the event of any error, our first concern is always for a patient’s 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.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.