SINGAPORE: A first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was erroneously administered to a 16-year-old boy on Thursday (Jun 3) at Kolam Ayer Community Club vaccination centre, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Education (MOE).
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorised for use in Singapore for people aged 18 and above. The vaccination centre at Kolam Ayer Community Club is run by Minmed.
"Our investigations found that the individual’s date of birth had been erroneously entered when booking a vaccination appointment after receiving the sign-up link," the ministries said in a joint press release early Friday morning.
"This resulted in his age being incorrectly registered as above 18 years of age, making it possible for a Moderna vaccination centre to be selected.
"The vaccination centre staff had failed to verify his age during registration, which should have been carried out."
The error was discovered during the post-vaccination observation period when vaccination centre staff members identified that the boy was under 18. He was placed under a longer observation time of 50 minutes as an additional precaution and "remains generally well", said the ministries.
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The expert committee for COVID-19 vaccination said in a separate statement that it has reviewed the incident where the teen was "erroneously administered" the Moderna vaccine dose.
"The expert committee for COVID-19 vaccination does not expect any safety issues from the receipt of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the 16-year-old youth, and the medical team will consult the expert committee on what would be best for the youth for the completion of the vaccination," it said.
"Data from a trial involving more than 3,700 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old has found that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective among adolescents with no significant safety issues identified. The majority of adverse events were mild or moderate in severity, and the common ones were injection site pain, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and chills."
Only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been authorised for use in Singapore for children aged 12 and above.
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"The safety of those receiving the vaccination is of utmost priority," said the ministries, adding that they take a serious view of the incident.
"We apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety caused, and have reached out to the youth’s parents to explain the situation."
A "thorough review" of internal processes at vaccination sites has been carried out by MOH to prevent a recurrence of the incident. This includes strengthening its online registration process to ensure people make appointments at suitable vaccination centres based on their eligibility, and putting in place more stringent protocols at vaccination sites to verify eligibility.
"We are in close contact with the individual and his family, and will continue to monitor his health closely and provide the necessary support," added the ministries.
The committee said that it will continue to monitor "global evidence" and developments on COVID-19 vaccines, in particular emerging data on the efficacy and safety of vaccine use for more population subgroups.
CNA has contacted the MOH, MOE and healthcare provider Minmed for more information.