Singapore Apologizes After Young Teen Given Moderna Jab in Error

Singapore authorities issued an apology after a 16-year-old boy was given the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which is not approved in the city-state for people under 18, by mistake on Thursday.

The boy’s date of birth was erroneously entered when booking a vaccination appointment, which resulted in his age being incorrectly registered as above 18, thus allowing a Moderna vaccination center to be selected, the country’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education said in a joint statement. The vaccination center staff had failed to verify his age during registration, they said.

The boy remains “generally well” and the Expert Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination does not expect him to suffer any safety issues, according to the statement.

“The safety of those receiving the vaccination is of utmost priority,” the ministries said, adding that they apologized for the inconvenience and anxiety caused.

Singapore started inoculating more than 400,000 students this month, after earlier authorizing the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech SE vaccine for children as young as 12 years old.

More details of the incident:

  • The error was discovered on-site at the Kolam Ayer Community Club Vaccination Center during the post-vaccination observation period
  • As an additional precaution, the individual was placed under a longer observation time of 50 minutes
  • The ministries are in close contact with the boy’s family and will monitor his health closely
  • The health ministry has conducted a review of internal processes and put stricter measures in place to prevent a recurrence, following the incident.

Data from a trial involving more than 3,700 adolescents between ages 12 to 17 found that the Moderna vaccine is safe and effective among adolescents with no significant safety issues identified, the health ministry said in a separate statement.

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