Government forced to backtrack after Covid vaccine 'overdose'

Ash Cant
·2-min read

The federal health minister has corrected the record and confirmed the doctor who administered excessive doses of the Covid vaccine did not complete the mandatory training.

On Wednesday, Greg Hunt said he was given incorrect information about the Queensland doctor on Wednesday from HealthCare Australia, the company undertaking the vaccine rollout effort.

HealthCare Australia originally said it had copies of the doctor's completed training modules.

Greg Hunt has confirmed the doctor who gave excessive doses of the Covid vaccine did not undertake training. Source: AAP
Greg Hunt has confirmed the doctor who gave excessive doses of the Covid vaccine did not undertake training. Source: AAP

Mr Hunt told parliament Healthcare Australia had corrected the earlier advice saying the doctor completed the training required to administer the vaccine.

"Upon further investigation, Healthcare Australia has now advised that the doctor had not completed the required training," Mr Hunt said in parliament on Thursday.

"I have asked the department to take action against the company and the doctor for what is a clear breach on both fronts."

The doctor is no longer part of the vaccine rollout and has been reported to the national regulator.

A nurse intervened upon realising the doses were wrong.

The two elderly residents may have received up to four times the intended dose of the vaccine by the doctor on Tuesday.

"It's actually really hard to be able to tell what was in the needle, but it couldn't have been more than [four times]," Mr Hunt said.

Healthcare workers have to complete online training modules before being able to administer the coronavirus vaccines, which come in multi-dose vials.

Mr Hunt described the situation as an "unacceptable human error", but said he does not believe the debacle will impact the public's confidence in the vaccine rollout.

The 88-year-old man and the 94-year-old woman were the the only two to receive shots at Brisbane's Holy Spirit Nursing Home on Tuesday.

The man has been admitted to hospital for observation and is currently showing no signs of adverse reaction, while the woman is being monitored in the aged care home.

Chief Health Minister 'confident' in vaccine training

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the modules were a "one size fits all" model, with healthcare workers undergoing the same training regardless of whether they were a nurse or a doctor.

He told reporters in Canberra if necessary, there will be changes made to the training modules.

"But we're very confident that they are good and comprehensive," he said.

Professor Kelly said higher doses had been given to residents at aged care facilities in Germany and the United Kingdom, leading to minimal side effects.

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