'Big stuff up': The vaccine mistake that could put Australia 'at risk'

Kamilia Palu
·News Editor
·3-min read

A NSW man was shocked to discover that his official health record had been updated to show he had been fully vaccinated against coronavirus - despite the fact that he’s never had a Covid jab and doesn’t even qualify for one.

Scott Jeffery, from Cessnock in the state’s Hunter region, noticed the error when he received an email from his myGov account.

“It stated I had an immunisation record update,” he explained to A Current Affair.

“And I was like ‘oh ok, this is weird’. I went on to that [the website] and then it clearly stated I had my Covid vaccines.

Scott Jeffery was shocked to discover that his health records shows he has been vaccinated against coronavirus, when he has never had a Covid needle.
Scott Jeffery was baffled to find his health records with two glaring errors - and says he might not be the only one. Source: A Current Affair/Channel 9

“Not one but two.”

Mr Jeffery’s health records show he received two Pfizer vaccines 23 days apart; one on March 8 and the second on March 31.

“It’s a big stuff up,” the 30-year-old factory worker said, adding that a dishonest person could use an error like this to travel overseas and potentially put Australian residents at risk.

"It's kind of interesting for anti-vaxxers … if they have the same thing that I had they could go [overseas] and bring it [Covid] back,” he said, adding it could become "a big problem".

"If I'm just one, there's probably so many more."

Prime Minister says error is under investigation

The error had gone unnoticed for more than two weeks, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the case was "concerning" and now the subject of an investigation.

“Services Australia is reviewing the case… and I’d expect them to be identifying if there are any issues there that need to be addressed,” Mr Morrison said at a press conference on Monday.

Scott Morrison addresses the media at a press conference in Sydney.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the case is "concerning" and confirmed it was being investigated by Services Australia. Source: A Current Affair/Channel 9

“But let’s not forget we’re close to 1.6 million vaccinations and one case, as you’ve stated, that’s concerning, of course it would be, and I’d want it thoroughly investigated, which it is.”

Services Australia’s general manager Hank Jongen told ACA the incident was “isolated” and being investigated.

“Services Australia is responsible for administering the AIR, recording information reported by vaccination providers. Only registered vaccination providers in Australia can record immunisation information on the AIR. The provider is responsible for ensuring the information is correct,” Mr Jongen said.

“Services Australia takes all data quality issues seriously, recognising the need for accurate and up-to-date data on an individual's immunisation record. The Agency works closely with the Department of Health to provide support for vaccination providers, making it as easy as possible to report quality information to the AIR.

“We take the integrity of the Medicare system and the AIR extremely seriously and have contemporary cybersecurity in place to protect customers' personal information.”

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