Six children MISTAKENLY given double dose of Covid-19 vaccine in France

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The incidents occurred on the day Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the area, viewing the work of a local vaccination centre. The overdose error occurred Saturday, December 18 in a vaccination centre. The children all received a double dose of the vaccine from the Pfizer/BioNTech laboratory.

The error occurred when an injection of 20 micrograms (μg), instead of the ten recommended for patients under 11 years of age, was administered to the children.

Among the young patients was Bernard Martignon’s son.

The 10-year-old boy was eligible due to his father’s medical history.

Speaking to French media, Mr Martignon said: “We were informed by a doctor in the afternoon. He told us that it wasn’t very serious, that he might have a temperature.”

The diagnosis was correct, as the boy had a 39.5° fever during the night.

The prefect’s office in the region said: “When a patient overdoses, he or she may have a fever and fatigue, as with a normal injection.”

It added: “In this case, the doctor in charge of monitoring patients recommends rest and taking paracetamol every six hours.”

According to the state services, “only one family” came forward on Saturday, December 18 to talk about their child’s “fatigue” and “aches”.

The local body added: “We invited them to make a declaration on the portal of undesirable health effects.”

Mr Matignon said later: “We don’t know the effects of an overdose in the long term. This was not taken seriously.”

The father is all the more upset that the error occurred during the visit to the centre by Mr Castex in the middle of the morning.

He added: “More attention should have been paid to the children.”

For its part, the prefecture said that the other doses that had been prepared were checked again “throughout the day”.

Mr Castex was in Le Mans this Saturday morning alongside Marlène Schiappa, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior.

They then went to the hospital in Le Mans to meet the nursing staff.

Prime Minister Jean Castex defended the “effectiveness” of vaccinating children to counter the spread of COVID-19, the day after he announced the introduction of a vaccination pass and the opening of vaccination for kids aged five to 11.

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Mr Castex, speaking of the French vaccination programme, said: “We will put the burden on the non-vaccinated because they represent the majority of Covid patients hospitalised.”

He added: “It is not acceptable that the refusal of a few million French people to be vaccinated puts the life of an entire country at risk and affects the daily life of the vast majority of the population.”

A bill will be presented “at the beginning of January” to transform the health pass into a vaccination pass, the Prime Minister announced on Friday evening.

To enter places subject to the pass (restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities, etc.), a negative test will no longer suffice: it will be necessary to be vaccinated (or cured of Covid) and to have received a booster dose.

The bill is expected to be discussed in the Council of Ministers on January 5 and in the National Assembly on January 1.

The Government fears hospitals will be overcrowded in the run-up to the festive season, mainly because of staff on holiday during this period.

With one week to go before Christmas Eve and two weeks to go before New Year’s Eve, the Prime Minister said town halls should refrain from holding concerts and fireworks on the evening of December 31.

The Prime Minister recalled the importance of barrier measures before the holidays: “Wear a mask, avoid hugs, regularly air out enclosed spaces.”

He also insisted on the need to avoid large parties.

Without wishing to quote “a precise number”, he made “a simple recommendation”: “The fewer the better”.

France has had 8.63 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in just over 121,000 fatalities.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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