28 Aug 2021

Covid-19: Vaccination error in Canterbury gave people lower doses

1:42 pm on 28 August 2021

An error at a vaccination centre in Canterbury earlier this month meant 13 people may have received a lower dose of the Covid-19 vaccine than intended, the Health Ministry has confirmed.

A worker on the frontline of Auckland's Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility being vaccinated against Covid-19 on 20 February 2021.

File photo. Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Health

The incident was reported in today's emailed Covid-19 update from the Ministry of Health, which also revealed there were 82 new community cases.

The Ministry said that no patient harm would have occurred from the vaccine error.

Twelve out of the 13 affected had been contacted and were booked in for another dose of the vaccine, the Ministry said, while a "range of methods" were being used to contact the remaining person.

The statement said incidents of this nature were not common and DHB and healthcare providers had systems in place to detect them.

It said the Ministry of Health was working closely with the vaccination team to support their response to each person affected.

Improvements and additional training for staff were also being implemented.

The incident follows reports of other errors at vaccination centres.

Earlier this week, RNZ revealed that five people vaccinated at the Highbrook vaccination centre in Auckland may have received a dose of saline solution instead of the vaccine.

The Covid-19 vaccination programme's national director Jo Gibbs said there was also an incident at the Wigram vaccination clinic in Christchurch where vaccine stock did not match the number of doses administered.

"During the full-day clinic, six vaccinations were administered with a very low dose of vaccine."

The incident occurred as a result of a vaccinator picking up a tray of six syringes that had not had the correct vaccine drawn into them, she said.

A similar instance has occurred in Australia at Rockhampton Hospital in Queensland last month.

It resulted in six people receiving an ultra-low dose of the vaccine and may not have been vaccinated.

All 159 people who received the vaccine that day were contacted within a week and were offered a repeat dose.

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