Noor Azmi: Vaccinator used empty syringe by mistake

KUALA LUMPUR: A health worker (vaccinator) took an empty syringe by mistake when administering the vaccine on a 12-year-old, of which a video of the incident went viral, says Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said preliminary investigations by ProtectHealth found that this occurred at the Universiti Malaya vaccination centre (PPV) on Sept 30.

“In the 3.16pm incident, the health worker mistakenly took an empty unused syringe which was on the table where the vaccine-filled syringe was also placed.

“The health worker had followed the prescribed procedures such as showing the vaccine as it is being extracted from the vial into a syringe and showing the syringe filled with the proper dosage to the teenager’s mother,” he said in a statement yesterday.

According to Bernama, Dr Noor Azmi, who is also the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force-Adolescent (CITF-A) chairman, said after showing the syringe filled with the vaccine, the health worker placed it on the table while disinfecting the teenager’s arm prior to the injection.

“However, the worker later picked the empty syringe instead to vaccinate the teenager. When it was over, the worker realised the mistake and informed this to the medical officer on duty at the PPV.

“They immediately had a discussion with the teenager’s parents and subsequently, with the parents permission, the teenager was given the vaccine on the other arm.

“CITF-A deeply regrets this incident and would like to apologise to the parents and teenager for the inconvenience caused.

“This is described as an error while on duty or human error. The health worker has been given a warning to be more careful and to strictly follow the set procedures,” he said.

In addition he said, the internal procedures, too, had been improved by ensuring that no other syringes were left on the table when dispensing vaccines to avoid a recurrence.

Meanwhile, Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye urged the authorities to reveal their investigations into previous allegations of fake vaccines that appeared several months ago.

However, the results have not be publicised.

“When more videos of this nature are circulated, public confidence In the vaccination process will be undermined with its concomitant consequences.

“The public will then begin to play the blame game and the favourite targets will be the authorities for what they may deem as negligence to ensure integrity and honesty of the people and the processes involved,” he said in a statement.

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