‘Exhaustion led to empty syringe case’

PUTRAJAYA: The recent case where a nurse performed a vaccination using an empty syringe was due to human error resulting from exhaustion, revealed Khairy Jamaluddin, who called on the public not to diminish the “sacrifice” of all frontliners due to such isolated incidents.

Khairy said that while the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) view public claims on empty vaccination seriously, he hoped that the public would continue to support the hard work of frontliners.

“We need to preserve the integrity of the national immunisation programme and also the integrity of the thousands of frontliners, doctors and nurses who are risking their lives, vaccinating thousands of people every day.

“Human errors or one or two cases of negligence should not taint the entire programme. We don’t blame all frontliners who are sacrificing themselves on a daily basis for us to control this pandemic,” he said during his weekly joint media briefing with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

On the incident of negligence, Khairy, the coordinating minister for the national immunisation programme, said it occurred at a drive-through vaccination centre at Lapangan Terbang Army camp in Sungai Petani, Kedah, on July 17.

“In this case, the nurse admitted that there was negligence and the negligence was due to exhaustion.

“This is the only case where there was negligence on the part of the vaccinator. Warning has been issued by the Army Chief as the nurse was on duty at an army camp. The nurse will also go through a disciplinary process under the Health Ministry,” he said.

On incidents at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre and a vaccination centre in Banting, Khairy said the individuals were given additional doses of the vaccine due to confusion.

“The vaccine administrators were unsure whether an appropriate dose had been administered,” he explained.

Khairy said that of the cumulative six million doses of vaccine administered to date, 13 police reports were lodged, of which most were found to be false or inconclusive.

He said police investigations showed there was no connection between the empty vaccination claims and syndicates selling Covid-19 vaccines, adding that the CITF was committed to ensuring those who come for their vaccinations receive appropriate doses.

Also during the briefing, Khairy sent a message of gratitude to all frontliners.

“I understand that you are feeling sad and disheartened. But I want you guys (frontliners) to understand that I have your backs and that I will answer to the public.

“One or two cases of human negligence does not take away the hard work that you have been putting in, day in and day out. Thank you, all of you,” he said.

Individuals receiving vaccines are also now allowed to film the process.

“If this was not allowed before, I am now giving permission, and I have asked for permission from the Health Minister to allow the public to video their vaccination process.

“So go ahead and film yourself, take a video of your vaccination, so that you have hard proof and that we also have hard proof that you have received the proper dose of the vaccine,” he said.

Khairy said the standard operating procedure of showing the recipient the syringe that has been filled with the vaccine must be followed.

“I hope this issue ends here. I do not want to disrupt the commitment and dedication of the frontliners in carrying out their duties, which has somewhat been affected over recent days.

“For the cases where there was human negligence, I apologise. We will do better. But I hope the Malaysian public will continue to support the hard work of our frontliners,” he said.

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