Temescal Valley

SoCal Teen Given a Coronavirus Vaccine Not Yet Approved For Her Age Group

Currently in the U.S., the only vaccine approved for ages 16 and up is Pfizer. Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are approved for ages 18 and up.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Temescal Valley family is looking for answers after their daughter rolled up her sleeve for the wrong COVID-19 vaccine shot -- one that has not yet been approved for minors. When the girl went for her second dose, she was turned away.

Currently in the U.S., the only vaccine approved for ages 16 and up is Pfizer. Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are approved for ages 18 and up.

"They already knew that after asking her birthday that she was 17 years old," said Jimmy Fog, the teen's father. "They asked for my daughter's ID, and I stated that she's a minor. She's still in high school."

But Keira didn't get the only vaccine she was eligible for, Pfizer. Instead, she got the first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the Corona Community Health Center.

"I didn't feel anything. I felt fine afterwards," said Keira Fong.

A statement from the Riverside University Health System says in part:

"On March, 26, a 17-year-old patient was given a Moderna vaccine at the Riverside University Health System Corona Community Health Center. We recognize the new complexities created in the vaccination process due to tiers opening and minors qualifying and multiple vaccines available at each site. However, we have resolved any issues that may arise due to the complex nature outlines and have implemented processes and mechanisms to prevent this from happening in the future."

Now, the Fong Family faces a dilemma. They want Keira to be fully protected but because her first dose was done in error, "they were not going to be able to give her the second dose," said the teen's mother Lilly Fong.

According to the CDC, if someone 16 or 17 is given the Moderna vaccine, they can get a second dose, it just needs to be filed under off-label use. NBC4 asked Riverside University Health about that and was told that "before providing the second dose, we wanted to make sure it was safe to do so. After verifying CDC guidelines, the patient will be able to receive the second dose."

Vaccines are going to become available for those even younger. Pfizer says their vaccine is now safe for 12 to 15-year-olds. The goal is to start giving them shots before the start of the school year. Moderna says their results on 12 to 17-year-olds should be available soon.

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