16-Year-Old Wrongly Administered 1st Shot Of Moderna Vaccine On 3 Jun
Starting from Tuesday (1 Jun), students aged 12 and above islandwide have begun receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
On Wednesday (3 Jun), an operational slip-up apparently resulted in a 16-year-old boy at Kolam Ayer receiving the Moderna vaccine which is only meant for adults over 18.
Fortunately, the teen is doing fine and experts do not expect any safety issues from the incident.
Nonetheless, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has apologised and will thoroughly review the registration process on-site.
16-year-old erroneously gets Moderna vaccine
In a joint statement on Friday (4 Jun), the Ministry of Education (MOE) and MOH attributed the ‘error’ to an inaccurately recorded date of birth.
Apparently, when booking the vaccination appointment, the 16-year-old’s date of birth was erroneously entered, reflecting that he was over 18.
This made him eligible for the Moderna vaccine, instead of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine suitable for teens over 12 years of age.
Image for illustration purposes
Moreover, staff at the Kolam Ayer vaccination centre failed to verify his age during registration.
Slip-ups on both ends caused the 16-year-old to receive a vaccine currently not cleared by MOH for persons under 18.
Experts do not expect safety issues from incident
Fortunately, after sitting through a 50-minute observation (as compared to the usual 30mins), the teen remained “generally well”.
Even though Singapore has only cleared adults for the Moderna vaccine, experts do not expect safety issues from the incident.
In a separate statement, the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination cites a study to prove their conjecture.
In a trial with over 3,700 adolescents aged 12 to 17, the Moderna vaccine proved safe and effective for the age group.
Even in cases of adverse reactions, most were mild or moderate including injection site pain, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and chills.
Image for illustration purposes only
MOH to review admin processes at vaccination sites
Nonetheless, MOH assured that they take a serious view of this incident. They also apologised for any inconvenience or anxiety caused.
They’ve since conducted a thorough review of internal processes at vaccination sites to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
MOH also promises to strengthen both online and on-site registration processes to ensure information needed to verify eligibility is accurate.
They claim to be in close contact with the teen’s family and will continue to monitor his health closely.
Glad the teen is doing fine
Despite the unfortunate slip-up, we’re glad the boy is doing fine.
As Singapore ramps up its inoculation effort to include more age groups, let’s continue to be diligent so that we can have maximum protection against Covid-19.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image adapted from Facebook, for illustration purposes only.