SINGAPORE, Feb 24 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has directed teams administering Covid-19 vaccines to adhere strictly to protocols — including leaving their positions only when their immediate task is done — to prevent another person from receiving the wrong dosage of the drug, said Senior...
Wednesday, 24 Feb 2021 03:16 PM MYTA vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is seen at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre on January 27, 2021. — TODAY picSubscribe to ourTelegramchannel for the latest updates on news you need to know.SINGAPORE, Feb 24 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has directed teams administering Covid-19 vaccines to adhere strictly to protocols — including leaving their positions only when their immediate task is done — to prevent another person from receiving the wrong dosage of the drug, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament today.
Dr Puthucheary was responding to several Members of Parliament (MPs) who asked about the recent lapse during a vaccination exercise at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), which resulted in a staff member receiving the equivalent of five doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in one shot.
The current protocols stipulate that healthcare workers involved in giving vaccines be given clearly defined roles to manage their workload, Dr Puthucheary told the House.And if they have to step away from their stations, they should properly document and hand over their roles to other staff, and leave their positions only when their immediate task has been completed, he added. headtopics.com
To ensure those administering vaccines are not overworked, Dr Puthucheary said that more healthcare professionals will be trained and hired “so that there will be adequate staffing to cater for these work-rest cycles and meet service demands”.How the error happened
Ng Ling Ling, MP for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) and Yip Hon Weng, MP for Yio Chu Kang Single Member Constituency (SMC), had asked how the incident happened and how processes will be improved.SNEC’s vaccination exercise took place on January 14, and it announced the error in a statement on February 6.
It attributed the mistake to a communication lapse among the vaccination team at the time.It said then that the staff in charge of diluting the vaccine had been called away to attend to other matters while preparing vaccines, and a second staff member had mistaken the undiluted dose in the vial to be ready for administering.
The vaccination exercise was stopped immediately and the rest of the SNEC employees were vaccinated at Singapore General Hospital. SNEC is not involved in vaccination exercises for any other groups.The error was discovered within minutes and the affected employee remains well with no adverse reaction or side effects, Dr Puthucheary said. headtopics.com
These effects usually show up within hours or days after the vaccination, he added.“We are quite assured of the health and comfort status of the staff member affected but we will continue to pay close attention and stay in close touch,” he said.'Vaccination teams trained, audited'
Dr Puthucheary told the House that vaccination providers must be familiar with the guidelines, protocols and operational workflows before they begin vaccinations.Vaccination staff are given clearly written instructions for preparing the vaccines, which must be done in a designated area away from where the injections are given, he said. They must also label whether a vial has been diluted.
MOH also conducts periodic audits to ensure that healthcare workers adhere to safety standards. An MOH spokesperson later confirmed toTODAYthat such audits had been in place before the lapse at SNEC.These audits generally look at the equipment, processes, skill sets of staff and the safety of patients, Dr Puthucheary said in Parliament.
How they are carried out varies significantly depending on where the vaccinations are conducted, but all vaccination sites will be engaged by the authorities, he added.In response to Giam, who had asked about preventing overwork among vaccination teams, Dr Puthucheary added that vaccination sites have workers not assigned to any station who can relieve their colleagues who need a break. headtopics.com
There will also be other staff members on duty tasked with roving around to watch for incidents and to assist any medical workers who need help, he added.“I would like to reassure members of this House that MOH continues to place the utmost importance on the safety of our staff and patients in the vaccination process.” — TODAYRead more: Malay Mail »
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