Nicola Sturgeon promises review into vaccine overdoses being given to children

An error where children were given an overdose of a coronavirus vaccine was identified quickly and a “proper review” will be carried out, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman made the suggestion to colour code covid vaccines after a “small number” of children receiving a jab in the NHS Lanarkshire health board were given doses that were above the approved amount.

On Tuesday, during Nicola Sturgeon’s weekly Covid update Ms Baillie said that the young people had been unwell as a result of having received the wrong dosage, as she called for an urgent review of their administration.

She said: “Four children aged between five and 11, and clinically vulnerable, were given Covid vaccine overdoses more than twice the approved amount in NHS Lanarkshire.

“They received adult doses, rather than those designed for children. At least one of the children was very seriously ill for a whole week as a result.

“I’ve also since been contacted by a mother whose 11-year-old daughter was given the wrong vaccine dosage, this time in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“Her daughter was desperately unwell for two weeks, but months later the symptoms returned and she ended up in hospital.

“Given the unfortunate side-effects experienced by these children, and to ensure confidence in the vaccination programme which is so important, will the First Minister order an urgent review of the administration of vaccinations to children?

“And at least ensure that the different doses for children and adults are colour-coded to avoid future error?”

On Monday, the Daily Record reported that four Scots youngsters had received the incorrect dose.

The paper reported that the mother of a 10-year-old boy told how his arm became sore almost immediately after he received his jab at the Ally McCoist Centre in East Kilbride and she was told by a senior doctor that instead of 10 micrograms of vaccine mixed with saline solution, her son had been given 25.7micrograms, but assured her ​​it was “highly unlikely” this would lead to any problems. 

Ms Sturgeon said NHS Lanarkshire had apologised after a small number of children were given the wrong dosage of the Pfizer vaccine.

The mistake was identified quickly and “appropriate monitoring” was carried out, she said.

She said: “Of course, in the face of any incident like this, we will take any steps that we consider to be appropriate.

“This was a small number of children who were incorrectly administered with a higher than recommended dose of the Pfizer vaccine instead of the paediatric formula.

“NHS Lanarkshire has apologised for this error and has undertaken the appropriate monitoring that should always be carried out when someone is given more than the recommended dose of a vaccine.

“We have already been assured that the error was quickly identified, reported and actions were put in place to ensure that affected parents were fully informed of what had happened.”

She added that the mistaken dosage amount is “not harmful”, but reiterated that steps had been taken as a result of the error.

“There is guidance from the UK Health Security Agency about the steps that should be taken.

“They should be reassured in this case that it is not harmful, but we nevertheless will ensure that there is proper review of this and any appropriate steps taken as a result.”

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