Bad dosage of COVID-19 vaccine for SNEC employee, vaccination certificates must be discussed in Parliament

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SINGAPORE: Administering the wrong dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine to a staff member at the Singapore National Eye Center (SNEC) and vaccination certificates are among the topics to be discussed in Parliament on Wednesday, February 24.

According to the Order Paper, debate will also resume on the 2021 budget statement made by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last week.

READ: What you need to know about the 2021 budget

Members of Parliament (MPs) asked Health Minister Gan Kim Yong about the SNEC staff member who received the equivalent of five doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

MP Yip Hon Weng (PAP-Yio Chu Kang) asked why there was no dedicated staff member to handle “this critical operation” and no formal briefing with notes if a transfer was needed.

According to SNEC, investigations showed it was human error resulting from a lack of communication between the vaccination team at the time.

MP Gerald Giam (WP-Aljunied) asked how public health facilities manage the workload of medical workers to ensure that “they are not overworked and too multitasking” to avoid such human errors.

READ: Getting more than recommended dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to be harmful – MOH

Another question for the Minister of Health was asked by MP Lim Wee Kiak (PAP-Sembawang), who asked if certificates were issued to participants in the COVID-19 vaccination program and in what forms.

He also asked if immunization records would be made available on the National Immunization Registry and accessible through SingPass, as well as if registry data would be shared with the World Health Organization and other countries.

Dr Lim also asked how the government determines whether vaccination records presented by visitors are genuine.

Mr Yip asked the Minister of Health how the main differences between the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines influence the government’s decision on the purchase and allocation of vaccines.

He also asked if the government was considering allowing residents to choose which vaccine to use if that would affect their decision to be vaccinated.

STUDENT DEATH AND OTHER PROBLEMS

MP Vikram Nair (PAP-Sembawang) asked Education Minister Lawrence Wong for an update on the investigation into the death of Jethro Puah, a 15-year-old student, who allegedly lost his footing while attending a high level at SAFRA Yishun.

He asked if there were “lessons to be learned” to reduce the risk of serious accidents when students participate in higher risk activities.

MP Ang Wei Neng (PAP-West Coast) asked Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung if the Land Transport Authority (LTA) had plans for a major overhaul of bus lines following the opening of the Thomason-East line Coast in stages.

READ: Second leg of Thomson-East Coast Line to open in early 2021 after COVID-19 delays – Ong Ye Kung

Other questions asked by MPs included the number of visitors to nature parks during the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for students at higher education institutes to gain global exposure amid current travel restrictions .

MEPs also asked about the allocation of places in primary schools and the number of isolated elderly people living in apartments purchased from the Housing and Development Council and receiving ComCare support.

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