KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — A health worker (vaccinator) took an empty syringe by mistake when administering the vaccine on a 12-year-old, as viraled recently, said Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said preliminary investigations by ProtectHealth found that this occurred at Universiti Malaya (UM) vaccination centre (PPV) on Sept 30.

“In the 3.16 pm incident, the health worker mistakenly took an empty unused syringe which was on the table where the vaccine-filled syringe was also placed.

“The health worker had followed the prescribed procedures such as showing the vaccine as it is being extracted from the vial into a syringe and showing the syringe filled with the proper dosage to the teenager’s mother,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Noor Azmi who is also the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force-Adolescent (CITF-A) chairman said after showing the syringe filled with the vaccine, the health worker placed it on the table while disinfecting the teenager’s arm prior to the injection.

“However, he later picked the empty syringe instead to vaccinate the teenager. When it was over the worker realised the mistake and informed this to the Medical Officer on duty at the PPV.

They immediately had a discussion with the teenager’s parents and subsequently, with the parents permission, the teenager was given the vaccine on the other arm.

“CITF-A deeply regrets this incident and would like to apologise to the parents and teenager involved for the inconvenience caused.

“This is described as an error while on duty or human error. The health worker has been given a warning to be more careful and to strictly follow the set procedures,” he said.

In addition he said, the internal procedures too had been improved by ensuring that no other syringes are left on the table when dispensing vaccines to avoid a recurrence.


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