KUALA LUMPUR: The inoculation of a 12-year-old with an empty syringe was due to human error, says Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force-Adolescent (CITF-A) chairman Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali (pic).
Dr Noor Azmi clarifies that the medical staff mistakenly took an empty syringe that had not been used, instead of a syringe that had been filled with the vaccine earlier.
He said that the incident took place at about 3.16pm on Thursday (Sept 30) at the University Malaya vaccination centre.
"CITF-A regretted the incident and would like to apologise to the parents and the vaccine recipient. This incident was an on-duty mistake or human error," Dr Noor Azmi said in a statement here on Saturday (Oct 2).
He said this after a video purportedly showing an adolescent boy receiving a jab with an empty syringe went viral on social media.
He explained that the medical staff had followed the prescribed procedures before administering the vaccine, including showing the amount of the vaccine with the appropriate dose to the mother of the boy.
"After showing the syringe containing the vaccine, she briefly placed the syringe on the table to disinfect his arm before giving the injection. However, she mistakenly took an empty syringe to inject his arm," he said.
He added that upon completion of the process, the medical staff realised the mistake and informed the medical officer on duty at the vaccination centre.
"They then discussed with his parents and after explaining, his parents permitted the vaccine to be given on a different arm under the low dose procedure,” said Dr Noor Azmi.
The procedure is a clinical guideline that recommends administration of the vaccine in the opposite arm if the first dose is deemed insufficient and a re-dose is required,” he added.
Dr Noor Azmi said the medical staff concerned has been warned to be extra careful and follow the prescribed procedures.
"The existing procedure has also been improved by ensuring that no other syringes are on the table when administering the injection. This is to prevent the same incident from happening again," he said.