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130 people administered wrong dose of Covid-19 vaccine so far; all recovered or had no adverse reaction: MOH

SINGAPORE — Out of the 16 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered so far, 11 people were given an excess dose of the vaccine, while 119 were given a lower dose than required. 

A total of 130 people in Singapore were administered with wrong doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

A total of 130 people in Singapore were administered with wrong doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

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  • Out of the 16 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered so far, 11 people were given an excess dose of the vaccine, while 119 were given a lower dose than required
  • These include seven children who did not develop any adverse reactions, while the affected adults had either no adverse reactions or "recovered uneventfully”
  • Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said that data so far showed these incidents were "not likely" due to a systemic factor in the vaccination process, though the ministry will continue to review them

SINGAPORE — Out of the 16 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered so far, 11 people were given an excess dose of the vaccine, while 119 were given a lower dose than required. 

These include seven children aged between five and 11 who did not have any adverse reactions, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary on Monday (Oct 3).

Dr Puthucheary, who was responding to three parliamentary questions on the number of overdose cases and safeguards to prevent such incidents, added that the adult cases had either no adverse reactions or "recovered uneventfully”.

He gave the assurance that there are existing requirements for healthcare providers, mandating them to inform affected patients immediately and report such cases to the Ministry of Health (MOH) no later than three hours after the incident. 

The questions follow an incident on Sept 15, when two adults were administered undiluted doses of Covid-19 vaccines by a relief or locum doctor at a ProHealth Medical Group clinic in Hougang.

On Monday, Dr Puthucheary said that all Covid-19 vaccination providers under the National Vaccination Programme are licensed and regulated by MOH.

In the event of an incident of where the vaccine dose given is incorrect, providers are required to inform the patients involved immediately and monitor them over the next seven days through daily phone calls to ensure their well-being.

He added that MOH will investigate such incidents and work with providers to review and improve their work processes if there are systemic issues.

Workers’ Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) Gerald Giam asked whether vaccination providers face penalties for non-reporting or late reporting of such incidents.

In response, Dr Puthucheary said that it would depend on the “circumstances and reasons, and who it was that perhaps knew but did not report”.

Jalan Besar GRC MP Wan Rizal asked if more stringent processes will be implemented to prevent the repeat of such cases.

Dr Puthucheary reiterated that the proper administration of vaccines is “part of the healthcare licensee expectations”.

He added that the vast majority of the clinics and vaccine providers have been doing "a great job" in properly and safely administering vaccines.

“And so I think we have to identify first of all whether this is an issue with individual member or personnel, whether it’s something about the processes at the site, or whether it is something systemic about the overall vaccination process,” said Dr Puthucheary.

“All our data so far suggests that the last is not likely, and the vast majority of our doses have been delivered quite safely. Nevertheless, MOH continues to review all of this.”

The Sept 15 case was not the first reported instance where an undiluted vial of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been administered to a person.

Last year, an employee at the Singapore National Eye Centre wrongly received the equivalent of five doses of the vaccine due to a human error. 

And in a separate incident earlier this year, MOH said that it was investigating the death of a 103-year-old nursing home resident who was wrongly given a fourth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in a case of “mistaken identity”.

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