Sunday, November 28

Covid-19: the Ministry of Health confirms another possible vaccine error

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that there has been another case in which people were given the wrong dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 13: New Yorkers 12 and older are vaccinated at Saint Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx of New York City, USA on June 13, 2021 .

Photo: AFP

The revelation follows that there were five out of 732 people who may have been injected with harmless saline instead of a Covid-19 injection at the Highbrook Vaccination Center on July 12.

The saline solution is used to dilute the vaccine after it has thawed.

After RNZ reported the incident, the Health Ministry said it would contact all those who potentially received only saline, within 24 hours.

The national director of the Covid-19 vaccination program, Jo Gibbs, said there was also an incident at the Wigram vaccination clinic in Christchurch where vaccine stocks did not match the number of doses administered.

“During the full-day clinic, six vaccines were given with a very low dose of vaccine.”

The incident occurred as a result of a vaccinator picking up a tray of six syringes that did not contain the correct vaccine, he said.

“As a result of the investigation of this event, we know that the affected cohort in this case is only six people because the records show that it occurred between 1:20 and 1:40 p.m. on that day.”

Gibbs said the DHB has contacted all six people and that a clinical plan has been developed for each person.

Four people received dose one and two people received dose two on July 14.

Since then they have been given another dose of vaccine.

Woman ‘upset’ because she was not told about a possible vaccination error

An immunized woman at the Highbrook Vaccination Center in Auckland is upset that she was not told she was given only saline instead of the Pfizer vaccine.

Fiona Tolich, who was vaccinated on July 12, said she was “upset” that the ministry had not informed her of the error.

She believed that the ministry had no intention of telling her.

“You can’t tell me that it took five weeks to talk to experts when internationally they were able to make the right decision the same day it happened.”

Tolich’s partner is an essential worker and has an underlying health condition.

So far he has only received one Covid-19 injection.

He said he can understand a mistake was made, but not knowing until now is shocking.

“People have a right to know what is being put into their body and they have a right to honesty and, for me, these cries of dishonesty and integrity and lack of ethics.”

He wants an apology from the ministry and an explanation.

Meanwhile, Health and Disability Commissioner Morag McDowell said she will contact the ministry about the incident.

“Consumers have the right to be fully informed about what may have happened to them.

“I understand that the Ministry of Health is working to resolve this matter and I hope this includes informing people who may have been affected by the error.”

He said he will write to the ministry to understand the actions being taken and remind them of his expectations regarding the right of consumers to open disclosure.

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