March 30, 2023
HONG KONG — The Department of Health launched on Wednesday an invesgation after 14 members of the public were given expired COVID-19 vaccines at a medical center in Kowloon Bay.
In a statement, the DH said it conducted an inspection at the Quality HealthCare’s medical center and noted that Comirnaty bivalent vaccines which had been kept one day to eight days after the suggested use-by-date were administered to 14 members of the public from March 21 to 28.
The Department of Health said it requested the medical center to contact the affected persons to explain the situation and follow up on their health condition
According to vaccine manufacturer Fosun Pharma, Comirnaty bivalent shots should be kept at 2 to 8 degree Celsius and be used within 70 days after thawing.
“The DH is highly concerned with the incident and has immediately conducted investigation and reminded the staff members to check regularly the suggested use-by date of the vaccines, store vaccines with different use-by dates separately and handle the expired vaccines in accordance with the DH’s guideline at appropriate time,” the DH statement reads.
“The DH has provided advice to the medical center to improve its vaccine management procedures and internal communications. The center is also urged to avoid recurrence of similar incidents,” it added.
The department said it requested the medical center to contact the affected persons to explain the situation and follow up on their health condition.
“The center should also manage any discomfort reported immediately and make notification to the DH. The DH has yet to receive any discomfort reports of the affected persons,” it added.
The department said it also consulted a local expert, and inquired Fosun Pharma on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine.
According to local expert, no re-vaccination is needed for the affected persons while the medical center should actively follow up the health condition of the affected persons, the DH said.
The DH will continue its follow-up to see if the medical center followed the DH’s guideline. If there is any violation of the guideline under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme or the private clinic agreement, the DH said it will will handle the incident “according to established mechanism.”