FLORENCE, KY – The North Kentucky Department of Health confirmed Thursday that on Oct. 16, a nurse acting on their behalf gave a 14-year-old girl a vaccine that had not been approved by the FDA for anyone under 18 years of age.
The girl’s vaccination card, which includes her date of birth, shows she received the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine.
The J&J vaccine is FDA approved for adults 18 or older.
Only Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is FDA approved for children 5-17 years of age.
“That was a mistake,” said Steve Divine, Interim Co-Director of the Northern Kentucky Health Department. “In this particular case, although it was an isolated incident, it is very unfortunate.”
The girl’s mother, Rolina Mason, said her daughter wanted the J&J vaccine because it was a single dose.
“My daughter is reluctant to get the vaccine, so for her to make this choice was big enough,” Mason said.
Mason said she was with her daughter and approved of the nurse giving her the J&J vaccine, but Mason insisted she did not know the J&J vaccine was not FDA-approved for anyone under 18.
“She only wanted one shot, so she said, ‘Mom, can I get the Johnson & Johnson?’ And they said it was good for her to get and she got it, ”Mason said.
Mason said her daughter was vaccinated in a free clinic at Covington Holmes High School.
The event featured several partners, including the NFL, CDC, and Northern Kentucky Health Department, according to the Covington School District.
The Covington School District declined to comment on the incident.
Mason said about a week after her daughter received the J&J vaccine, the health department told her that her daughter should have received the Pfizer vaccine because J&J’s vaccine is not FDA-approved for anyone under 18.
“I was almost in shock,” Mason said.
Mason said her daughter had a bad skin reaction after receiving the vaccine. She said the eruption left after one day.
Skin rashes are an extremely rare symptom after receiving the vaccine, according to the CDC.
But overall, Mason said her daughter has not experienced significant side effects.
“When she (the nurse) said it was okay for her to get the Johnson & Johnson, I just trusted it,” Mason said.
Divine said the health department discovered the mistake, called the girl’s parent and made sure the child was okay.
He said the health department documented what had happened and submitted reports to the appropriate agencies.
Divine said steps have been taken to prevent this from happening again, although it is not clear what is needed to prevent it other than saying the vaccine the girl wanted is not FDA-approved for anyone under 18 and the health department will not give it. to you.