Singapore boy, 16, wrongly given first dose of Moderna vaccine: MOH, MOE

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
A doctor is vaccinated at Gleneagles hospital, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A doctor is vaccinated at Gleneagles hospital, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE – A 16-year-old boy was given the wrong vaccine when he showed up at Kolam Ayer Community Club Vaccination centre on Thursday (3 June). 

He was administered the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, which is currently authorised for use in individuals aged 18 and above. In Singapore, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be administered to those below 18 who are eligible. 

In a joint press release on Friday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Education (MOE) apologised for "the inconvenience and anxiety caused". They have reached out to the youth’s parents to explain the situation.

The ministries said that "the error was discovered onsite when a vaccination centre staff identified that the individual was under 18 years of age during the post-vaccination observation period". He was then placed under a longer observation time of 50 minutes – the regular observation period is 30 minutes – as a precaution. The teen is "generally well". 

Investigations found that the "the individual’s date of birth had been erroneously entered when booking a vaccination appointment after receiving the sign-up link", the ministries said. "This resulted in his age being incorrectly registered as above 18 years of age, making it possible for a Moderna vaccination centre to be selected," the ministries added. "The vaccination centre staff had failed to verify his age during registration, which should have been carried out."

The Expert Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination has reviewed the case, and it does not expect the teen to suffer any safety issues from this incident.

The MOH has carried out a thorough review of its internal processes at vaccination sites in order to prevent a recurrence. "This includes strengthening our online registration process to ensure individuals make appointments at suitable vaccination centres based on their eligibility, as well as putting in place more stringent protocols at our vaccination sites to verify eligibility."

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