130 people have received incorrect doses of COVID-19 vaccines: MOH
They were a mix of adults and children who either had no adverse reactions or recovered uneventfully.
SINGAPORE: There have been 130 cases of people in Singapore receiving incorrect doses of COVID-19 vaccines, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health on Monday (Oct 3).
Speaking in Parliament, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said that as of Sep 26, 11 people have been affected by overdosing while 119 people were affected by underdosing of the vaccinations.
This is out of approximately 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered since the start of the pandemic.
Of the 130, seven were children aged between five and 11, who did not have any adverse reactions.
The rest, adults, either had no adverse reactions or recovered uneventfully, said Dr Puthucheary.
His response came after an incident last month where two adults were each given a full vial of undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Hougang.
One was hospitalised after experiencing headache and increased heart rate and has since been discharged. The other patient did not report any adverse reaction.
The clinic, which comes under ProHealth Medical Group, and the doctor who administered the vaccine have been suspended from the National Vaccination Programme until further notice.
Last year, among other cases, a 103-year-old woman was erroneously given a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 111 patients and six staff at Bukit Merah Polyclinic were given lower doses of the vaccine.
Responding to questions from Members of Parliament about safeguards to prevent overdosing or underdosing of COVID-19 vaccines, Dr Puthucheary said all providers under the National Vaccination Programme are licensed and regulated by the MOH.
Additional regulations stipulating eligibility criteria, dilution and administration of the recommended dosage for each vaccine have been issued specifically for COVID-19 vaccination.
“Vaccination providers are expected to assess their staff competencies in COVID-19 vaccination administration,” he added.
Dr Puthucheary said that in the event of any vaccine administration errors and medical emergencies following vaccination, vaccination providers are required to report to MOH no later than three hours after the incident.
Providers also need to inform patients immediately when a vaccination error has occurred, and monitor their health with daily calls for the next seven days to ensure their well-being.
In the event of an error, MOH will investigate and if there are any systemic issues, it will work with providers to review and improve their work processes, Dr Puthucheary added.
He said MOH was currently investigating ProHealth Medical Group about the incident and will take appropriate enforcement actions if there are any regulatory breaches.
"The vast majority of the clinics and vaccine providers do a great job of ensuring that the patients are cared for safely, the vaccines are provided safely with the correct dosage," said Dr Puthucheary.
"We have to identify, first of all, whether this is an issue with individual member personnel, whether it's something about the processes at the site or whether it is something systemic about the overall vaccination process.
"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."