16-year-old “erroneously” administered Moderna COVID-19 jab in Singapore

Representational photo courtesy: Willfried Wende on Pixabay
Representational photo courtesy: Willfried Wende on Pixabay

A 16-year-old boy in Singapore was mistakenly administered the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Kolam Ayer Community Club Vaccination Centre. The incident occurred on June 3 and the error was discovered onsite when vaccination centre staff identified that the individual was under 18 years of age during the post-vaccination observation period. 

A joint statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education said, “The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Education (MOE) take a serious view of this incident. We apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety caused, and have reached out to the youth’s parents to explain the situation.” 

The youth was placed under a longer observation time of 50 minutes, and “remains generally well”.

The error occurred after the individual’s date of birth had been erroneously entered when booking a vaccination appointment after receiving the sign-up link. This resulted in his age being incorrectly registered as above 18 years of age, making it possible for a Moderna vaccination centre to be selected. 

“The vaccination centre staff had failed to verify his age during registration, which should have been carried out,” read the statement. 

The Expert Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination has reviewed the case, and does not expect him to suffer any safety issues from this incident.

“Data from a trial  involving more than 3,700 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old has found that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective among adolescents with no significant safety issues identified. The majority of adverse events were mild or moderate in severity, and the common ones were injection site pain, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and chills,” read a statement from the Expert Committee. 

“A thorough review of our internal processes at vaccination sites has been carried out by MOH to prevent a recurrence. This includes strengthening our online registration process to ensure individuals make appointments at suitable vaccination centres based on their eligibility, as well as putting in place more stringent protocols at our vaccination sites to verify eligibility,” added the joint statement from MoH and MoE. 

The statement added that relevant authorities are in touch with the individual and his family, and will “continue to monitor his health closely and provide the necessary support”.