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130 people in Singapore given wrong COVID vaccine doses: Dr Puthucheary

Yahoo News logo Yahoo News 3/10/2022 Wong Casandra

SINGAPORE — All of the 130 people in Singapore who received incorrect doses of COVID-19 vaccines did not experience adverse reactions or have recovered uneventfully.

These and other figures were revealed by Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Monday (3 October).

Of them, 11 were overdosed while the remaining 119 were underdosed. Seven were children aged between five and 11, who did not have any adverse reactions. The remaining adults either had no adverse reactions or recovered uneventfully, said Dr Puthucheary.

The figures – accurate as of 26 September – were among some 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Singapore in total.

Responding to questions from several Members of Parliament about safeguards in place to prevent incorrect dosing, Dr Puthucheary said additional rules stipulating eligibility criteria, dilution and administration of the recommended dosage for each vaccine have been issued specifically for COVID-19 vaccination.

All providers under the National Vaccination Programme are licensed and regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

In the event of a vaccine administration error or a medical emergency following vaccination, the relevant 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.

MOH will investigate the error and if there are any systemic issues are found, it will work with providers to review and improve their work processes, Dr Puthucheary said.

His comments come less than a month after two adults were given undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccines at a clinic in Hougang under the ProHealth Medical Group. One of them was hospitalised due to a headache and increased heart rate, while the other did not report any adverse reactions.

Each undiluted vial is equivalent to six 0.3 ml doses of the vaccine.

The clinic and doctor who administered the vaccine have been suspended from the national vaccination programme until further notice.

MOH is currently investigating ProHealth Medical Group for the incident and will take appropriate enforcement actions if there were any regulatory breaches, said Dr Puthucheary.

"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," he added.

Dr Puthucheary also noted that data suggests that it is "not likely" that such incidents arise from systemic procedures in the overall vaccination process.

"(The) vast majority of our doses have been delivered quite safely. Nevertheless, MOH continues to review all of this," he said.

Separately, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in Parliament on Monday that as of 30 June, 2,100 people have been exempted from COVID-19 vaccination-differentiated restrictions due to adverse reactions to the vaccines.

Among them, the observed rate of deaths was around two in 1,000, compared with 0.3 in 1,000 for the whole population, he added.

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