Vaccine incident being probed

March 29, 2023

The Department of Health said it is investigating and following up on an incident involving 14 people who were administered with BioNTech bivalent vaccines after the suggested use-by date by Quality HealthCare at its medical centre in Kowloon Bay.


The department today inspected the medical centre according to a regular inspection mechanism.


It noted the bivalent vaccines which had been kept one day to eight days after the suggested use-by-date were administered to a total of 14 people from March 21 to 28 at the centre.


Highly concerned about the incident, the department immediately conducted an investigation.


As suggested by the vaccine manufacturer Fosun Pharma, the BioNTech bivalent vaccine should be kept at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and be used within 70 days after thawing.


The department said it has consulted local expert and inquired with Fosun Pharma on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine. According to the expert, no re-vaccination is needed for those affected. The medical centre has been advised to actively follow up on the health condition of the people affected.


No reports of discomfort have been reported from those who received the vaccine.


The department also reminded the centre’s staff to regularly check the suggested use-by date of the vaccines, store those with different use-by dates separately and handle the expired vaccines in accordance with the department's guidelines at the appropriate time.


It has also advised the medical centre to improve its vaccine management procedures and internal communications, and urged it to avoid a recurrence of similar incidents.


The department will handle any violation of the guidelines under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme or the private clinic agreement according to the established mechanism.

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