One-month-old baby was vaccinated against coronavirus 'by mistake' in Turkey, but has been doing well since, revealed a doctor who followed him on Thursday, sparking a stir over the first known case of vaccination of an infant in the world.

"A one-month-old baby was mistakenly vaccinated against Covid-19 in July instead of receiving a hepatitis vaccine," said Aegean University pediatric infectious disease specialist Zafer Kurugol, who continues to follow the child.

No side effects

According to Dr Kurugol, the health worker who administered the vaccine in the Izmir region (west) immediately realized the error and alerted the authorities. Transferred to the Aegean University Hospital, the baby underwent several examinations, including his heart rate. Placed under medical supervision, the child had no negative effects after a week, according to the doctors. 

“He left the hospital as he arrived, in perfect health.

(…) It did not even have the side effects that we sometimes see in adults, such as fever.

He continued to be breastfed without any concern, ”assured Dr Kurugol.

Now 4 months old, the baby continues to be regularly examined by the doctor and is still in good health.

Analyzes have shown that he has developed antibodies against Covid-19, added the infectious disease specialist who did not wish to reveal the name of the vaccine administered.

Tests on six-month-old babies

Two types of vaccines, that of BioNTech-Pfizer and CoronaVac are currently in use in Turkey.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that trials are ongoing but that "more evidence on the short and long term effects of SARS CoV-2 infection in children, as well as on the safety profile of vaccines in (them), are necessary to fully understand the benefits and risks of vaccination ”in young subjects.

It will update its recommendations “when the evidence or the epidemiological situation” justifies it, she specifies.

The Pfizer laboratory said this week that ongoing clinical trials in children also included babies from 6 months.

An open administrative inquiry

For the time being, the only data made public by Pfizer concerned the administration of an anti-Covid vaccine to children 5-12 years old.

Zafer Kurugol first claimed on television that "many" babies had been mistakenly vaccinated against Covid-19 in health centers and that a study on these cases would soon be published.

Before retracting and guaranteeing that only one case was known: "I wanted to emphasize that the vaccine was safe even for an infant", justified the infectious disease specialist.

"This is an unacceptable statement," lamented the Federation of Family Physicians to the Cumhuriyet newspaper, demanding an apology.

The Turkish Ministry of Health has announced the opening of an administrative investigation.


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