Health officials slammed for hiding jab blunder

The Department of Health (衛生署) has come under fire for not telling the public about the case of a doctor injecting the wrong vaccine into a patient.

The incident happened on February 23. A patient was supposed to receive a flu jab, but was instead given a tetanus vaccination by a doctor at a clinic.

Clinic staff noticed the mistake during a vaccine stock count, and immediately contacted the patient to apologise. The patient suffered no adverse effects after a check-up, and was given the flu shot.

A department spokeswoman said the initial investigation showed the staff did not spot anything wrong when verifying information of the patient and the vaccine.

The department did not acknowledge the mistake until it received media inquiries. “In order to protect the patient’s privacy, the Department of Health would not disclose personal information before having the patient’s agreement,” it said in a statement.

When asked why the department did not disclose the blunder earlier, the spokeswoman said the department had assessed the impact of the case on public health.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki (郭家麒), a surgeon, criticised the department for not announcing the serious mistake.

He asked for a review of the storage method of vaccines.

He added it was “plain luck” that the patient did not suffer from complications.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 3 May 2016)

injection mistake in Canada

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