Health officials scramble after several Qlders given ‘ultra-low dose’ of Pfizer vaccine

An ‘administration error’ has led to six Queenslanders being given an ultra-low dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination.

Queensland Health confirmed overnight that the one vial of Pfizer was wrongly used twice at the Kippa Ring Vaccination Centre before 9.30am on Saturday 7 August.

As a result, authorities have been forced to contact 66 people over the bungle, as they’re unable to tell which six received the ultra-low dose of the vaccine.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


“The Pfizer vaccine requires a process of preparation, where saline is added to the vaccine vial and withdrawn to make up to 6 syringes,” Queensland Health said.

“An initial review indicated one vial was used twice, meaning the doses drawn on the second use were over-diluted.

“The error occurred within the first hour and a half of the clinic opening and immediate action was taken.

“Unfortunately there is no ability to trace which six of the first 66 patients through the vaccination clinic were given the ultra-low dose.”

An urgent review is now underway to understand what caused the error and how processes can be improved.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said an ultra-low dose is not harmful, but could affect someone’s immunity to COVID-19.

“We are working with those impacted to ensure optimal immune response to the vaccination is achieved,” Dr Young said.

“Of those 66, 26 were receiving their first dose and 40 were receiving their second dose.”

She said those affected will be offered a new appointment to receive a repeat dose to ensure they are fully vaccinated.

“There is no clinical risk associated with receiving a third dose of Pfizer,” Dr Young said.

Those who received the jab at the Kippa Ring Vaccination Centre at or after 9.30am on Saturday 7 August are not impacted and do not need to worry.

Metro North Hospital and Health Service Acting Chief Executive Jackie Hanson has apologised for the error and said it was detected “early on in the day”.

“I am incredibly sorry for any distress this has caused to those 66 people and their families. We will, of course, be supporting every single person impacted,” Ms Hanson said.

“I am incredibly grateful we have good safety culture at Metro North and that the error was picked up quickly as a result of those safeguards.

“I have received a full incident report which will allow me and my staff to better understand what needs to be done to improve our processes.”