S'pore boy, 16, given Moderna Covid-19 vaccine 'erroneously' as it's for those aged 18 & above

No major issues expected.

Belmont Lay | June 04, 2021, 01:01 AM

A 16-year-old boy in Singapore received a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine "erroneously" on June 3 at Kolam Ayer Community Club vaccination centre.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Education (MOE) made this revelation in a joint statement and apologised for the error.

The statement said: "We apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety caused, and have reached out to the youth’s parents to explain the situation."

The ministries said they take this error seriously.

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is currently only authorised for individuals aged 18 and above in Singapore.

How error occurred

The error stemmed from a wrong date of birth registration.

"Our investigations found that the individual’s date of birth had been erroneously entered when booking a vaccination appointment after receiving the sign-up link," the statement said.

"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 then failed to verify his age during registration, a process that should have been carried out.

Vaccination centre staff members later identified the boy as under 18 during the post-vaccination observation period.

That was when the error was discovered.

He was placed under a longer observation time of 50 minutes as an additional precaution.

The ministries said he remains "generally well".

No safety issues

The expert committee for Covid-19 vaccination does not expect any safety issues for the youth, the committee said in a separate statement.

The medical team will also consult the expert committee on what would be best for the youth for the completion of the vaccination, the statement also said.

"Data from a 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," the committee added.

Top photo via MOE