CARLISLE, Pa. — Currently, there is only one COVID-19 vaccine that has emergency use authorization for people under the age of 18 and that's the Pfizer vaccine.
When 17-year-old Hannah Bash was getting her first dose, that's what she thought she would get, however, that's not what happened.
The hospital that made mistakenly gave her the shot said she couldn't get the 2nd dose.
That was until FOX43 Finds Out stepped in.
"It was kind of like a catastrophe with emotions because we had no idea what was going on."
Back in February, Bash became eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine because of her job.
She's a dietary aide at UMPC Carlisle.
"I'm putting food on the trays, getting it all organized and ready and then I deliver it to patients. So I am all over the hospital in all the departments," said Bash.
Bash's mom, April, says she made it clear Hannah is 17 years old. "Every station that we were at my mom mentioned she is a minor."
Then Hannah got a dose of the Moderna Vaccine.
"I got the vaccine and then we're checking out and she was like, 'can I have your date of birth?' Once again, they're assuming I'm 18 and when I said my birthday it was like a drop. and they're like, 'you're not 18?' and I'm like, 'no, I turn 18 this September.'"
That's when Hannah and her mom were told that she should not have received the Moderna vaccine because it's not approved for people her age.
"I just got injected with something I wasn't supposed to have."
Bash says staff at UPMC Carlisle told her mom to call Hannah's doctor to see what to do next.
"She'll be 18 in September and they felt she was old enough to get the second dose."
But when they called UMPC Carlisle to schedule Hannah's second shot - they were told it wasn't possible.
"We got the same person and she's like, 'we'll we can't give you that shot because we registered it as a medical error and ethically we can't repeat that mistake.'"
According to the CDC, if someone 16 or 17 is given the Moderna vaccine, they can get the Moderna vaccine as the second dose. It just needs to be filed under off-label use since it's not authorized for that age group.
FOX43 Finds Out emailed both UMPC Carlisle and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to see what could be done for Hannah since both she and her mom wanted her to get the 2nd dose.
UMPC sent us an email that reads in part "This incident has been thoroughly investigated, and we apologize for any related confusion. We are working in close collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and are working with the family to resolve any outstanding issues."
Then one day later, Hannah got her shot.
Her mom says she does not believe her daughter would have been able to get the 2nd dose without help from FOX43 Finds Out.
Hannah had what is considered normal side effects from the second shot - like a sore arm and feeling tired.
The PA department of health did confirm it has received reports of people under the age of 18 getting the Moderna vaccine, just like Hannah. However, it cited the MCARE Act as to why it couldn't disclosure whether or not a facility reported an event or if they had an event.
The CDC says providers should report any vaccine-related errors to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System known as VAERS.
Here's some guidance from the CDC:
- Inform the recipient of the vaccine administration error.
- Consult with the state immunization program and/or immunization information system (IIS) to determine how the dose should be entered into the IIS, both as an administered dose and to account for inventory.
- Report the error to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), unless otherwise indicated in the table. Providers are required to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration errors—even those not associated with an adverse event—to VAERS. To file an electronic report, please see the VAERS websiteexternal icon.
- Determine how the error occurred and implement strategies to prevent it from happening again. A discussion on strategies to prevent errors can be found in the “Vaccine Administration” chapter of Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (Pink Book). Additional resources can be found on CDC’s vaccine administration web page, including a job aid for preventing errors.