SingaporeSubstitute doctor who used undiluted Covid-19 vaccines fired by Hougang clinic

Substitute doctor who used undiluted Covid-19 vaccines fired by Hougang clinic

ProHealth Medical Group has confirmed that one of the group’s substitute doctors administered the undiluted vaccine to two adults. After the incident, the doctor involved was immediately terminated.

In a media statement on Wednesday (Sept 21), the group said: “We confirm that on Sept 15, at the Prohealth Medical Group at Hougang clinic, a relief locum doctor had administered undiluted Covid-19 vaccine to two adult patients. We wish to clarify that the relief locum doctor concerned started work at the Hougang clinic on Sept 1, 2022. She also worked on Sept 8 and 15, 2022.”

In saying that it has stopped engaging her service as a locum since the incident on Sept 15, the Group added: “We take a very serious view of the incident and assure all who seek our clinic’s services that we treat their safety and well-being with utmost care.”

The group said authorities were still investigating the incident, so it was not able to comment or release further details. The clinic involved will fully cooperate with the authorities’ investigations.

The Group added that it will provide necessary support and assistance to the affected patients, and sincerely apologised to the patients and their families.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that it was alerted to the incident on Monday and that investigations were ongoing.

This was not the first time that an undiluted vial of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been administered to a patient.

In February last year, an employee at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) was wrongly administered the equivalent of five doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine due to a human error.

In February this year, MOH said that it is concluding its investigation of a case of a 103-year-old nursing home resident at ECON Healthcare – Chai Chee Nursing Home who was erroneously administered with a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine by a mobile vaccination team from PanCare Medical Clinic.

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The resident had previously received three doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and was erroneously given a fourth shot on 13 December 2021. On 16 December 2021, the resident was admitted to Changi General Hospital for pneumonia and hyponatremia, and subsequently also diagnosed to have suffered a stroke. She passed away on 10 January 2022. Her death was reported to the Coroner, who ordered an autopsy to be conducted. The autopsy found that the main cause of death was pneumonia, with other contributing factors being cerebral infarction (or stroke) and coronary artery disease, which are natural disease processes common in seniors. The Coroner has not determined whether these causes of death were linked to the vaccination.

MOH said that it takes a serious view of this incident and is carrying out a thorough investigation under the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Regulations. MOH’s preliminary findings were that the vaccine was erroneously administered due to possible irregularities in vaccination procedures and poor communication between the nursing home and the medical service provider handling the vaccination.

This is the first case of mistaken identity leading to erroneous vaccination by a mobile vaccination team in over 152,000 vaccinations to date.

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