A doctor has been stood down after two elderly aged care residents were given overdoses of the coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Greg Hunt says.
It is under investigation just how the two people, an 88-year-old man and a 94-year-old woman in Brisbane, were given the wrong dose. Each injection was given consecutively and the nurse on site raised the alarm that a mistake had been made.
One of the residents had been taken to hospital for observation but so far neither had experienced adverse effects.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said that stronger doses had been used in early clinical trials before the current dose was decided.
It has been reported the two residents were given four times the normal dose, but Mr Hunt said that couldn't be confirmed and would be part of the investigation.
The Pfizer vaccine is stored in multi-dose vials, the first vaccine to be delivered in Australia in such a way. Anyone involved in the vaccine rollout was required to do an online training module and Mr Hunt said it would be part of the investigation to ensure the doctor had done the training as required.
Mr Hunt and Professor Kelly said doctors, nurses and other health workers involved in the rollout were required to sign a declaration they had done the training.
The incident happened at Holy Spirt aged care facility in Carsledine in Brisbane.
"The nurse on the scene stepped in and I want to thank her for her strength of character and her professionalism," Mr Hunt said.
"It was a very serious breaching in terms of following protocols."
Professor Kelly said it was a "maladministration" of the vaccine and he Healthcare Australia, the company involved in the rollout, notified him.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd will lead the investigation into how the mistake was made.
Professor Kelly said, "The other people that were due to get that vaccine yesterday did not get it but they will be getting it in coming days."
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