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Undiluted BNT vaccine mistakenly administered to 25 in New Taipei

Victims of medical negligence invited to check into hospital for observation, no sign of severe immune response so far

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En Chu Gong Hospital.

En Chu Gong Hospital. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Staff at En Chu Kong Hospital erroneously administered undiluted BioNTech (BNT) vaccine doses to 25 people in New Taipei City’s Yingge District on Monday (Sept. 27).

En Chu Kong Hospital apologized for the error in a press conference on Tuesday (Sept. 28), saying its staff thought the vaccine was already diluted after caps had fallen off the vials, ETToday reported. So far, the 11 men and 14 women have not experienced immune reactions other than arm pain.

The 25 people ranged from 18 to 65 years of age and have the option to check into the hospital for monitoring. As for those who do not wish to check into the hospital, it and the New Taipei City Department of Health will follow up daily and offer any needed assistance. According to ETToday, the hospital has formed a task force consisting of physicians from various disciplines to conduct detailed tests and check-ups on the group.

After receiving a report of the error, the city's Department of Health immediately contacted the Centers for Disease Control and experts to discuss the next steps and investigated the incident. UDN cited the Health Department as saying a bottle of BNT vaccine contains 0.45 milliliters of frozen suspension that requires dilution using 1.8 ml of saline, a step hospital staff should have been taught in pre-administration training.

As each vial of BNT vaccine contained at least six doses, the mistake also cost more than 100 people their shots, UDN reported.

The New Taipei Health Department has suspended En Chu Kong Hospital from administering vaccines for a week as punishment for the mishap, and it will reinforce training on every aspect of vaccine administration, per UDN. Citizens who have registered for shots at the hospital should go to the nearby Chingfu Hospital instead.