Two elderly people in a Queensland aged-care home have been given “higher than the prescribed amount” of the COVID-19 vaccine, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed.
An 88-year-old man and 94-year-old woman from the Holy Spirit Nursing Home in Carseldine in Brisbane received an incorrect dose.
Queensland began its rollout of the vaccine on Monday with 1000 people expected to receive the jab by the end of the week.
The doctor who administered the doses has been stood down from the vaccine program.
“I think it’s very important that we’re up front,” Mr Hunt said.
“The safeguards that were put in place immediately kicked into action and a nurse on the scene identified the fact that a higher than prescribed amount of the dose was given to two patients.
“Both patients are being monitored and both patients are showing no signs at all of an adverse reaction. But it is a reminder of the importance of the safeguards.”
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly noted several cases at facilities in Germany and the UK had also been incorrectly given higher doses in the early rollout of the vaccine.
“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. During those trials, the side effect data was not a higher problem,” he said.
“Second of all … we are aware of several cases like this happening early in the phased rollout through residential aged care facility equivalents in Germany and the UK. Again, the side effect profile was minimal, particularly in older people, so that gives us hope …
“However, when we were notified of this yesterday evening by the company concerned — that is doing the rollout in those facilities — we took immediate action.
“We’ve checked again on the patient welfare this morning and as the minister said, they’re both doing fine.”