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Hospital in Taiwan's Taichung under doses dialysis patients with COVID vaccine

Hospital fined for negligence and ordered to stop adminstering vaccines

AstraZeneca vaccine dose.

AstraZeneca vaccine dose. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Dali Branch of Jen-Ai Hospital in Taichung has been suspended from administering COVID-19 vaccines for giving a less than required dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine to over 40 patients undergoing dialysis.

On Wednesday (Sept. 29), 44 dialysis patients received the wrong dose of their second shot of the AZ vaccine at the hospital, according to a CNA report. The patients should have been given a 0.5 milliliter (ml) dose of the vaccine, but only got a 0.1 ml dose, said Wang Jui-chin (王瑞欽), the hospital's vice superintendent.

Realizing their mistake, hospital staff immediately notified the 44 individuals and told them to return to get an extra jab on Friday (Oct. 1). Of the 44, 40 agreed to get an extra jab and showed no irregular symptoms or side effects, according to Wang.

As for the four who refused to get the extra dose, the hospital will continue to monitor their health closely.

Meanwhile, the city's Department of Health ordered the hospital to cease vaccinating people and has dispatched officials to investigate the matter more thoroughly. The hospital is subject to a fine ranging from NT$50,000 (US$1,794) to NT$250,000 for violating the Medical Care Act, according to the Health Department.

Responding to the news, Wang offered a public apology for the negligence. This is not the first time sloppiness has undermined the vaccine rollout in Taiwan.

Just last week, staff at En Chu Kong Hospital in New Taipei City gave undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) doses to 25 people on Monday (Sept. 27). The hospital was then ordered to halt all injections for one week by New Taipei's Health Department. The agency also fined the hospital NT$250,000, concluding it did not follow the standard operating procedure (SOP).

According to the authorities, only one of the 25 patients given pure BNT at En Chu Kong Hospital was still being observed at the hospital on Monday (Oct. 4). The other 24 people appear to be in good health, though the hospital will continue monitoring the 25 individuals' health for at least 28 days, the agency said.