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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Australia’s top health official says overdoses were part of overseas vaccine trials

Australia’s top health official has moved to allay public fears after two aged care residents were given an overdose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Brisbane yesterday.

Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly said participants in overseas clinical trials had received three to four times the approved Australian vaccine dosage with very few side effects.

“In early clinical trials, they did experiment with different dosages, including one three to four times higher, and during those trials the side effects did not a high problem,” Professor Kelly said.

His statement came as news broke that the two residents – an 88-year-old man and 94-year old woman – had received four times the approved dosage of the vaccine at Holy Spirit nursing home (pictured) in Carseldine, Brisbane on Tuesday morning.

A nurse assisting the doctor administering the vaccine sparked the alarm, which has led to the doctor being stood down from the Commonwealth Government’s vaccine program.

Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt thanked the nurse for her “strength of character and professionalism” in calling out the doctor’s mistake.

“Both patients are being monitored and both are showing no signs of adverse reaction,” Mr Hunt said.

Professor Kelly said similar errors had been made during the rollout of the vaccine in Germany and the UK.

“We are aware of several cases happening early in the rollout phase in Germany and the UK and the side effect profile was minimal, particularly in older people,” he said.

“That gives us hope.”

He confirmed that the male patient was receiving hospital care, while the 94-year-old woman remained at the aged care home under observation.

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