Sunday 17 December 2017

Health minister James Reilly orders investigation into flu jab error reporters

HEALTH Minister James Reilly has ordered an investigation into how hundreds of adult patients were given too low a dose of the flu vaccine by pharmacists.

Mr Reilly has instructed the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) to produce a report on the error.

Yesterday it emerged that patients who received the low dose are being recalled to receive a booster jab.

The 485 patients were given the equivalent of a children’s dose from pharmacists who were given the wrong information on how to administer it.

News of the error came as it was confirmed the flu has officially arrived in Ireland this winter.

PSI Registrar and chief executive Ambrose McLoughlin said the priority was to ensure those who need to be revaccinated get the vaccine.

But he added the review would include an investigation into the flawed training scheme and how it was accredited.

He said pharmacists should have read the documentation of summary product characteristics that came with the vaccine to ensure proper administration.

Pharmacists across the country were given permission for the first time last month to administer the vaccine to private patients and medical card holders over the age of 65.

An estimated 1,500 pharmacists were sent on training courses on how to administer it.

Earlier the Irish Pharmacy Union said the pharmacists who are involved are furious about the situation.

“There were following the instructions they received at the training,” said Darragh O’Loughlin, spokesman for the pharmacists.

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