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117 people given lower dose of COVID-19 vaccine due to error at Bukit Merah Polyclinic

117 people given lower dose of COVID-19 vaccine due to error at Bukit Merah Polyclinic
A SingHealth Polyclinics sign. (File photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: More than 100 people who got their COVID-19 vaccinations at Bukit Merah Polyclinic were erroneously given lower doses of the vaccine, SingHealth, which operates the polyclinic, said on Sunday (Oct 24).

The incident affected 111 patients and six staff who received their vaccinations from Oct 20 to Oct 22.

They received a "much lower dose" of the vaccine, at about 10 per cent of the recommended dosage, said SingHealth in a media release.

"The incident occurred due to an error in identifying the correct markings on the new syringe that was recently introduced in the clinic," said the healthcare group.

After detection of the incident, immediate actions were taken to determine the extent of the error and reach out to the affected patients, said SingHealth.

All affected patients have been contacted and arrangements are being made for them to be vaccinated with a "full replacement dose" at SingHealth polyclinics as soon as possible, said the company.

"Based on the current vaccination guidelines by the Ministry of Health, we would like to assure all affected patients that the initial reduced dose is unlikely to cause any adverse reactions, and it is clinically safe for them to proceed with the COVID-19 vaccine replacement dose," said SingHealth.

As an added precaution, all affected patients will be assessed by a doctor before receiving the replacement dose, the company said.

"Our investigations have also confirmed that the incident is an isolated one, and all other vaccinations and services in our polyclinics are not affected," said the group, adding that steps have been taken to prevent a reoccurrence in its polyclinics.

SingHealth Polyclinics CEO Adrian Ee apologised for the "anxiety and inconvenience" caused to affected patients and their family members.

"We will take all necessary steps to address their concerns, and facilitate their COVID-19 replacement vaccinations as soon as possible," said Dr Ee.

He said immediate steps have been taken to rectify the error, and staff have been reminded on the proper use of the new syringe to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We would also like to reassure our patients that we have thoroughly reviewed our processes, and will ensure that staff are familiar with the use of new devices," said Dr Ee.

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Source: CNA/dv(rw)

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