A doctor who incorrectly gave two elderly people in a Queensland aged care home a “higher than the recommended dose” of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine, had not completed the required vaccination training.
“It hasn’t been confirmed, because it’s actually really hard to be able to tell what was in the needle, but it couldn’t have been more than [four times],” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said both patients, from the Holy Spirit facility in Carseldine, also known as St Vincent’s Care Services, were being monitored and neither had shown any signs of an adverse reaction to the doses.
The doctor who administered the doses has been stood down from the vaccine program.
“I think it’s very important that we’re up front,” Mr Hunt said.
“The safeguards that were put in place immediately kicked into action and a nurse on the scene identified the fact that a higher than prescribed amount of the dose was given to two patients.
“Both patients are being monitored and both patients are showing no signs at all of an adverse reaction. But it is a reminder of the importance of the safeguards.”
Mr Hunt said there were “highly developed training modules” that were mandatory to complete by those administering the vaccine.
“Our advice is that both doses were administered consecutively and, as a consequence of that, the nurse stepped in immediately.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said in the early clinical trials of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, experiments were conducted with different doses, including four times higher than what was eventually prescribed.
“During those trials, the side effect data was not a higher problem,” he said.
“Because we wanted to get on with the giving of this vaccination quickly, we went for a single one-size-fits-all model and it is the same training.
“There may be a need for us to modify that going forward.
“This was a mistake, whether it was simple or not we leave that to the investigation.”
St Vincent’s (Holy Spirit) Care Services CEO, Lincoln Hopper said the doctor who administered the incorrect dose would be reported to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for the error.
“It’s also extremely concerning. It’s caused us to question whether some of the clinicians given the job of administering the vaccine have received the appropriate training.
“Certainly, health authorities and contracted vaccination providers should be re-emphasising to their teams the need to exercise greater care so an error like this doesn’t happen again.
“Before vaccinations are allowed to continue at any of our sites, Healthcare Australia — or any other provider — will need to confirm the training and expertise of the clinicians they’ve engaged so an incident like this doesn’t happen again.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was “not good enough” and the federal government must explain how the incorrect doses happened.
She told state parliament Queensland authorities were only advised of the incident late last night.
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