It was revealed on Wednesday afternoon that the doctor had not done the appropriate level of training, with federal Health Minister Greg Hunt forced to correct the record in question time in federal Parliament after earlier stating the GP had completed all relevant training.
“Healthcare Australia has now advised that the doctor had not completed the required training,” he said.
“This is being investigated by Healthcare Australia, and we are expecting a report later [on Wednesday].”
The doctor involved has been stood down pending a review of the incident, after a nurse raised concerns that incorrect doses had been given to a man and a woman.
The 88-year-old man and the 94-year-old woman were taken to hospital as a precaution. Neither had yet experienced any adverse reactions to the incorrect dose, reportedly as high as four times the standard amount.
Mr Hopper said the GP and the nurse who raised concerns were outside staff allocated by Healthcare Australia to the facility for the vaccine rollout, with aged-care centres under the jurisdiction of the federal vaccine rollout, not the concurrent rollout being managed by state health departments in public hospitals and quarantine hotels.
Mr Hopper stressed they still had confidence in the rollout but were seeking assurances from the Commonwealth that processes were in place to avoid a repeat of the mistake.
“What has happened is an individual error, and I am sure there will be a review of the process by Healthcare Australia as well as the federal government to ensure that does not happen again,” he said.
“St Vincent’s has put that extra measure of validating credentials for staff on site. That is as an extra precaution.”
Mr Hopper confirmed the vaccination program was set to continue at the facility, and he believed residents would still want to participate, with a 95 per cent take-up reported before the incident.
The Queensland government is seeking assurances from the Commonwealth that training and oversight for its part of the vaccine rollout is adequate.
“The Commonwealth has already committed to sharing the findings of this investigation with the Queensland government, and we welcome this,” Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
“What these incidents highlight is the importance of full transparency and sharing of information from the Commonwealth government about the rollout across the aged-care sector and the broader rollout of the vaccine.”
Stuart Layt covers health, science and technology for the Brisbane Times. He was formerly the Queensland political reporter for AAP.
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