Teenager Mistakenly Given COVID Vaccine Not Approved for Children

A teenage boy in Canada was mistakenly given a COVID-19 vaccine that has not yet been authorized for use among people his age.

Rakin Choudhury, 15, was scheduled to receive his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination site operated by Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday, CTV News Toronto reported.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one approved for children between the ages of 12 and 17 in Canada, as well as the U.S.

But after getting his second shot and receiving a written confirmation of the vaccination, Choudhury was shocked to realize that staff had made a mistake.

Instead of administering the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, staff at the vaccination site had given the teen a dose of the Moderna vaccine, which has only been authorized for emergency use in people aged over 18.

"When we were first registering for the vaccine, we told the person with the iPad at least four or five times that we were getting Pfizer," Choudhury told CTV.

The teen said he experienced some nausea following administration of the shot, but now feels fine. Nausea is one of the most commonly reported side effects of the vaccine in adults alongside tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills and fever, as well as pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

In a statement, Michael Garron hospital said it had contacted Choudhury's family to apologize for giving the teen the wrong shot.

"The patient is stable and the incident is being reviewed with the team to ensure processes are in place to prevent this error from occurring in the future," Wolf Klassen, vice president of Program Support at the hospital, told CTV.

The Moderna vaccine has not yet been authorized for use in people below 18 years of age, but trials are underway to test the shot in the 12-to-17-year-old age group.

After collecting sufficient data through these trials, the American drugmaker announced earlier in June that it had submitted an application for the expanded emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents to U.S., Canadian and European health regulators.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release posted on June 10 that the vaccine was "highly effective" at preventing COVID-19 in adolescents, according to data collected during clinical trials.

The company also said in the press release that the vaccine was "generally well tolerated" with a safety and tolerability profile broadly consistent with adult clinical trials assessing the shot in adults.

Newsweek has contacted Michael Garron Hospital for comment.

Nurse drawing Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose
A nurse draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on March 23, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. A 15-year-old boy in Toronto was mistakenly given a dose of the Moderna vaccine, which has not yet been approved for his age group. Cole Burston/Getty Images