Two elderly residents given vaccine ‘overdose’

Two elderly Australians have been given four times the recommended dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Queensland aged care home.

A man, 88, is in hospital as a precaution and a woman, 94, also received the extra dosage at Holy Spirit Carseldine.

The doctor has been stood down from Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout program after giving the two patients the incorrect dose.

Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed the blunder in a press conference this morning.

“Basically a doctor gave an incorrect dose to two patients yesterday,” he said.

“It’s important we’re upfront.”

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Mr Hunt said the patients were being monitored and no adverse reactions had been reported so far.

“This is an individual practitioner who has clearly made an error and around the country – and you will remember from multiple press conferences, I’ve indicated that whether it’s the flu, whether it’s other things, during the course of any one year, there would be challenges, issues and errors,” he said.

“Ordinarily they wouldn’t necessarily be focused on. They’d be dealt with through the ordinary measures.

“Because of the national focus on this, it’s natural and understandable that those things which would ordinarily occur are given greater prominence.

“I absolutely understand that and, indeed, I’ve made the decision that I thought we should address this upfront to show that the safety guards that were put in place did actually work.”

Mr Hunt said while there was “an initial error”, three safeguards were immediately kicked into place.

“Firstly, the nurse on scene responded,” he said.

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“Secondly, the company responded, and thirdly, the health care agencies, the co-operation between the Commonwealth and Queensland responded.”

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Chief Health Officer Professor Paul Kelly said while the patients received a “maladministration” of the dose, there were a couple of points to make.

“Firstly in the early clinical trials of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, they did actually experiment with different doses of the product, including one three or four times higher than what have eventually been the prescribed doses,” he said.

“During those trials, the side effect data was not a higher problem, so there’s that element. “Second of all … we are aware of several cases like this happening early in the phased rollout through residential aged care facilities in Germany and the UK.

“Again, the side effect profile was minimal, particularly in older people, so that gives us hope.”

Professor Kelly said when he was informed of the incident just after midnight, they took immediate action.

“I was assured that everything that had been done on the site was what we would have expected and that a full incident reporting system had been actioned,” he said.

In good news, Professor Kelly said there were results out of Scotland that still needed to be peer-reviewed but indicated within a month that both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer showed an enormous decrease in hospitalisations.

For Pfizer, that was 85 per cent and AstraZeneca was even better at 94 per cent.

“This is where they have had a very large rollout,” he said.

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“5.4 million people in Scotland and they’ve had over a million doses of vaccine, a little bit more of the Pfizer but a large amount of the AstraZeneca vaccine and most of the vaccine has been going to the elderly population in Scotland and so they’ve been looking very closely at the severe end of the spectrum, particularly hospitalisation.

“So these are very encouraging early results. We’ll need to see how that shows later in larger populations but very encouraging so when we talk about two fantastic vaccines that work against that severe end of the spectrum, it’s further evidence that it’s working in a real-world setting.”

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About Lokesh Jaral 89759 Articles
Being an enthusiast who likes to spend time binge-watching TV shows and movies and following the hype in the media and entertainment world. Exploring the field of technology and entertainment, I am here to share the varied experiences on this blog.

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