Queensland Premier Palaszczuk takes aim at Scott Morrison over covid vaccine overdoses at Holy Spirit aged care

The Queensland Government is demanding the Prime Minister holds an emergency National Cabinet meeting after two vaccine overdoses were administered in a nursing home.

Two elderly Australians were given four times the recommended dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Queensland aged care home yesterday.

A man, 88, is in hospital as a precaution and a woman, 94, also received the extra dosage at Holy Spirit Carseldine.

The doctor has been stood down as a result, Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed in a press conference this morning.

“Basically a doctor gave an incorrect dose to two patients yesterday,” he said.

“It’s important we’re upfront.”

It comes as Australians started receiving the vaccine on Monday, with about 1.4 million doses administered to those deemed in greatest need in the weeks ahead, including aged care facility residents and frontline health and quarantine workers.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the overdose reports were “very concerning”.

“Although this happened yesterday morning, Queensland authorities were only advised late last night,” she said.

“Discovering these details now is simply not good enough.

“Today I will write to the Prime Minister asking him to convene National Cabinet as soon as possible.

“I want to know what training is provided to the people the Federal Government is employing to administer the vaccines in our aged care facilities.”

Ms Palaszczuk praised the nurse who intervened, saying her actions prevented further incorrect doses being administered.

RELATED: When you’re most likely to have side effects from COVID-19 vaccine

RELATED: Follow our coronavirus new

“The doctor has since been stood down and the Federal Government says an investigation is underway,” she said.

Mr Hunt said the patients were being monitored and no adverse reactions had been reported so far.

“This is an individual practitioner who has clearly made an error and around the country – and you will remember from multiple press conferences, I’ve indicated that whether it’s the flu, whether it’s other things, during the course of any one year, there would be challenges, issues and errors,” he said.

“Ordinarily they wouldn’t necessarily be focused on. They’d be dealt with through the ordinary measures.

“Because of the national focus on this, it’s natural and understandable that those things which would ordinarily occur are given greater prominence.

“I absolutely understand that and, indeed, I’ve made the decision that I thought we should address this upfront to show that the safety guards that were put in place did actually work.”

Mr Hunt said while there was “an initial error”, three safeguards were immediately kicked into place.

“Firstly, the nurse on scene responded,” he said.

“Secondly, the company responded, and thirdly, the health care agencies, the co-operation between the Commonwealth and Queensland responded.”

RELATED: Australia’s ‘NASA-like’ COVID-19 vaccine plan

RELATED: ‘No specific treatment’ for COVID-19 vaccine overdose

Chief health officer Professor Paul Kelly said while the patients received a “maladministration” of the dose, there were a couple of points to make.

“Firstly in the early clinical trials of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, they did actually experiment with different doses of the product, including one three or four times higher than what have eventually been the prescribed doses,” he said.

“During those trials, the side effect data was not a higher problem, so there’s that element. “Second of all … we are aware of several cases like this happening early in the phased rollout through residential aged care facilities in Germany and the UK.

“Again, the side effect profile was minimal, particularly in older people, so that gives us hope.”

Professor Kelly said when he was informed of the incident just after midnight, they took immediate action.

“I was assured that everything that had been done on the site was what we would have expected and that a full incident reporting system had been actioned,” he said.

Lincoln Hopper, chief executive of St Vincent’s Care Services, said the GP was employed by Healthcare Australia, an agency contracted by the Commonwealth to carry out COVID-19 vaccinations.

“The job of administering the vaccine was the role and responsibility of Healthcare Australia,” he said.

“St Vincent’s intends to report the GP to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for the error.

“This incident has been very distressing to us, to our residents and to their families.

“It’s also extremely concerning. It’s caused us to question whether some of the clinicians given the job of administering the vaccine have received the appropriate training.”

Mr Hooper said health authorities and contracted vaccination providers should be re-emphasising to their teams the need to exercise greater care so an error like this isn’t repeated.

“Before vaccinations are allowed to continue at any of our sites, Healthcare Australia – or any other provider – will need to confirm the training and expertise of the clinicians they’ve engaged so an incident like this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

In good news, Professor Kelly said there were results out of Scotland that still needed to be peer-reviewed but indicated within a month that both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer showed an enormous decrease in hospitalisations.

For Pfizer, that was 85 per cent and AstraZeneca was even better at 94 per cent.

“This is where they have had a very large rollout,” he said.

“5.4 million people in Scotland and they’ve had over a million doses of vaccine, a little bit more of the Pfizer but a large amount of the AstraZeneca vaccine and most of the vaccine has been going to the elderly population in Scotland and so they’ve been looking very closely at the severe end of the spectrum, particularly hospitalisation.

“So these are very encouraging early results. We’ll need to see how that shows later in larger populations but very encouraging so when we talk about two fantastic vaccines that work against that severe end of the spectrum, it’s further evidence that it’s working in a real-world setting.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *