Coronor Hasn’t Determined Whether Causes Of Death Linked To Vaccination
After 2 years of Covid-19, most will agree that senior citizens are more vulnerable to the disease.
Thus, they’re encouraged to get fully vaccinated plus a booster as soon as they can, for their own protection.
However, a 103-year-old woman had already been boostered when she was given a 4th dose in error.
Photo for illustration purposes only
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is carrying out a thorough investigation of the incident.
Lady was nursing home resident
In a news release on Friday (4 Feb), MOH said the elderly lady in question was a nursing home resident.
She lived in ECON Healthcare – Chai Chee Nursing Home.
She had already received 3 shots of a Covid-19 vaccine, but MOH didn’t specify when she received her 3 shots.
4th dose given on 13 Dec
Despite this, the woman was given a 4th shot on 13 Dec 2021, MOH said.
It was administered by a mobile vaccination team from PanCare Medical Clinic.
Photo for illustration purposes only
Admitted to CGH, passed away on 10 Jan
On 16 Dec – 3 days after getting her 4th shot – the elderly woman was admitted to Changi General Hospital for pneumonia and hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia happens when a patient’s sodium concentration in their blood is lower than normal.
She was also diagnosed to have suffered a stroke.
Sadly, she passed away on 10 Jan.
Death not linked to vaccination yet
The Coroner hasn’t determined whether the woman’s cause of death was linked to the vaccination.
However, he did order an autopsy to be conducted, and found the main cause of death to be pneumonia.
Other factors that contributed to her death are cerebral infarction (i.e. stroke) and coronary artery disease
These are “natural disease processes common in seniors”, MOH said.
MOH carrying out investigation
MOH takes a “serious view of this incident”, they added.
Thus, they’re carrying out a thorough investigation under Regulations 14A(1) and 36(1) of the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Regulations.
Regulation 14A(1) pertains to the responsibilities of nursing homes to patients.
Regulation 36(1) refers to the standard of care at medical clinics.
These investigations are expected to be concluded this month, MOH noted.
Poor communication a factor in error: MOH
However, MOH has released some preliminary findings.
One of the reasons they attributed the error to was “poor communication” between the nursing home and medical service provider that conducted the vaccinations.
The Agency for Integrated Care has reminded nursing homes to ensure proper communication with mobile vaccination teams.
MOH also cited “possible irregularities in vaccination procedures”, adding,
This is the first case of mistaken identity leading to erroneous vaccination by a mobile vaccination team in over 152,000 vaccinations to date.
MOH reminded mobile vaccination teams to verify and authenticate identity independently before vaccinating people.
Woman’s hospital bill co-funded
As a goodwill gesture, ECON Healthcare Group and PanCare Medical Clinic have co-funded the deceased’s hospital bill.
ECON Healthcare has also contacted her family to offer support.
Both facilities have reviewed their processes to avoid such an error happening again.
Family wanted details withheld
Some may be wondering why this incident was revealed only now, when the error occurred in Dec.
MOH explained that they’d planned to announce it in Dec, but for the family of the elderly woman.
They wanted some details to be withheld to prevent her identity being known, MOH said.
The ministry is nonetheless releasing this news now to “provide clarity on the incident”.
Be mindful of vaccination errors
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only vaccination error Singapore has recorded.
In Jun, a 16-year-old boy received the Moderna vaccine when it was only cleared for those over 18.
As wrongful vaccination may have in dire consequences, hopefully those who administer shots will be more careful next time.
MS News sends our condolences to the loved ones of the deceased senior.
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Featured image from Mat Nopo on Unsplash. Photo for illustration purposes only.
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