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Dozens of young kids got expired doses at COVID vaccine clinic, Maryland officials say

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Seventy children in Maryland were given expired doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the Prince George’s County health department said.

The vaccines were administered at the county’s Sports and Learning Complex on Nov. 26, the release said.

There’s no risk to children who received an expired vaccine, the department said. However, those children should receive a replacement dose to make sure they’re properly protected from COVID-19, according to the health department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Department of Health, and Pfizer.

The county scheduled special clinics to revaccinate the 70 children, who are between 5 and 11 years old, the release said.

“An expired dose may not provide the maximum protection that these vaccines give and that’s why the County quickly made arrangements for each of these children to get revaccinated,” Dr. George L. Askew, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services, and Education, said in the release.

On Nov. 19, the health department received 300 pediatric Pfizer doses. Nearly all of those doses were administered

at the Sports and Learning Complex before Nov. 24, and the remaining 70 doses should have been discarded, the release said.

Instead, the doses were mistakenly stored alongside non-expired doses. On Nov. 26, both expired and non-expired doses were administered at the clinic, the release said.

The vaccination vendor at the site of the clinic was retrained on vaccine storage and administrative protocol after the incident. Children can either be revaccinated at one of the special clinics arranged by the health department or at any of the regular clinics within the county, the release said.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one approved for children between 5 and 11 years old, according to the CDC. Children in that age group will receive a separate vaccine formulation administered with a smaller needle.

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