HSE admits children were accidentally given adult dose of Covid-19 vaccine 4 months ago

HSE admits children were accidentally given adult dose of Covid-19 vaccine

More than double the dose they should have received.

Several young children were mistakenly given adult doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the health products regulator.

According to the Irish Examiner, the errors were discovered only when the children came to mass vaccination centres for their second dose of the vaccine, and vaccinators spotted the incorrect information on their cards.

A child’s dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, known as Comirnaty, is 10mg and the adult dose is 30mg, meaning the children received a dose more than twice of the one tested and approved for their age group.

A representative for the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) stated that out of the seven children this happened to, one of them experienced a mild adverse effect following the adult dosage.

“All seven reports were in association with the first dose of Comirnaty, with the majority administered in vaccination centres and the remaining administered in pharmacy/GP practice setting,” a spokeswoman for HPRA said.

“No suspected side effects were described as being experienced in six of the reports with one report describing fatigue for a short duration.”


The 30mg adult dose of the Pfizer vaccine has a purple cap on the vial, while the 10mg dose for children aged five to 11 has an orange cap, so it is rather worrying that the mix-up could have happened in the first place.

However, the HSE’s National Immunisation Office (NIO) has requested all staff in mass vaccination centres be reminded of this colour difference.

“Cormirnaty vaccine for those aged 12 and older (purple cap) is not to be administered to children aged 5-11 years,” the reminder notice states.

“Parents of children in this age group who wish to have their children vaccinated should be directed to the HSE website to make an appointment.”

As of last week, just over one month into the rollout for this cohort, 17.3 percent of children in Ireland aged 5-11 were partially vaccinated and 3.1 percent are currently fully vaccinated according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).