Col. Joey Sullinger of I Corps Public Affairs said: "Joint Base Lewis-McChord is aware three people were inadvertently administered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine instead of another vaccine at the Lewis Main Exchange."
The Army did not release the identities of the persons involved, although positive corrective action has been taken to prevent such errors from happening again. "Army medical professionals are notifying and ensuring the health and welfare of those affected. This incident is under investigation," the Army said in a statement.
The information was first shared on Twitter on October 26, but there had been no references or citations regarding the source of the information.
Accidental doses happening across the country
This is not the first time that accidental COVID-19 vaccine doses were given in the United States. In September, a Maryland family found that their 4-year-old ended up getting a COVID-19 shot by mistake, but the vaccine has not yet been approved for children that age. The family was at a Walgreens store to get their flu shot when the mix-up happened.
The same thing happened to a family of four in Indiana, who were mistakenly given a COVID-19 vaccine instead of a flu shot in early October. About 90 minutes after they got what they thought were flu shots, they received a call from their pharmacist saying that mistakes were made and that the entire family had been injected with adult doses of a COVID-19 vaccine instead.
Although the couple was already fully vaccinated, their concern was for their children, Sophia, 5, and Lukas, 4, who showed signs of adverse effects after being given full adult doses.
"Lukas started feeling sick before we even got home from Walgreens. He was feeling yucky, lethargic and already had begun a fever," the couple said.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has only been approved for individuals aged 16 and older and has an emergency use authorization for children aged 12 to 15. Pfizer said that it already submitted a formal request for emergency use authorization for a smaller dosage for children ages 5 to 11.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said that the children will probably do okay. "The difference is they got a three times higher dose of a vaccine than is being tested in clinical trials. It is concerning they got a higher dose, and they have to be monitored, but they should do really well," he said.
He also said that the children's extra dose of the vaccine is going to be similar to receiving a booster shot.
Her husband, Joshua, explained that the cards were important proof for the doctors in case the children continue to get sick.
Walgreens' spokesperson Kris Lathan released a statement saying that due to privacy laws, they cannot comment on one specific event. However, he did say that such instances are rare and that the company takes these matters seriously.
"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," he said.