Boy, 16, wrongly given Moderna Covid-19 vaccine not authorised for those under 18 in S'pore

The Moderna vaccine has not been authorised for use in Singapore for those under 18. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A 16-year-old boy was wrongly given the first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday (June 3), but he is not expected to suffer any safety issues.

The mistake was discovered at Kolam Ayer Community Club vaccination centre when its staff identified that the boy was under 18 years of age after he had been given the shot.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that vaccination centre staff should have checked his age during registration, and apologised for the inconvenience and anxiety caused.

"As an additional precaution, he was placed under a longer (post-vaccination) observation time of 50 minutes, and remains generally well," the statement said.

The Moderna vaccine has not been authorised for use in Singapore for those under 18.

Investigations found that the teenager's date of birth was wrongly entered when booking a vaccination appointment after receiving the sign-up link.

This resulted in his age being incorrectly registered as above the age of 18, making it possible for a Moderna vaccination centre to be selected.

Both ministries said that they took a serious view of the incident.

"We apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety caused, and have reached out to the youth's parents to explain the situation.

"The expert committee for Covid-19 vaccination has reviewed this case, and does not expect him to suffer any safety issues from this incident," the statement said.

The medical team will consult the committee on what would be best for the youth for the completion of the vaccination.

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The committee added that data from a trial involving more than 3,700 adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States found that the Moderna vaccine is safe and effective for them, 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," it said.

Meanwhile, MOH is conducting a thorough review of internal processes at vaccination centres to prevent a recurrence.

This includes strengthening its online registration process to ensure individuals make appointments at suitable vaccination centres based on their eligibility as well as putting in place more stringent protocols at vaccination sites to verify eligibility.

The ministries said they are in close contact with the boy and his family, and will monitor his health closely.

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