A 16-year-old boy was wrongly given the Moderna shot as his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, instead of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for his age group, the Straits Times is reporting.
Staff at Kolam Ayer Community Club vaccination centre discovered the error when they realised the boy was under 18 years of age during the post-vaccination observation period.
The Moderna vaccine has not been authorised for use in Singapore for those under 18 but it is the only jab administered at that centre.
Investigations found that the boy’s date of birth had been wrongly entered when booking his vaccination appointment, which meant he was categorised as being over 18, making it possible for a Moderna vaccination to be administered.
In a joint statement, the health and education ministries said that vaccination centre staff should have checked his age during registration.
Both ministries apologised and said that they took a serious view of the incident.
“As an additional precaution, he was placed under a longer post-vaccination observation time of 50 minutes, and remains generally well,” the statement said. “The committee for Covid-19 vaccinations has reviewed this case and does not expect him to suffer any safety issues from this incident.”
The medical team will consult with the committee on which vaccine should be administered as his second jab.
The health ministry is conducting a thorough review of internal processes at vaccination centres to prevent a recurrence.
This will include strengthening its 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 vaccination sites to verify eligibility.
The ministries said they are in close contact with the boy and his family and will monitor his health closely.
They also said that data from a trial involving more than 3,700 adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the US found that the Moderna vaccine is safe and effective for them, with no significant safety issues identified.