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DH issues reminder to private doctors under COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

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     The Department of Health (DH) reminds all private doctors participating in the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme to check the vaccination record of the public before COVID-19 vaccine administration, and to follow DH’s Doctor’s Guide in providing vaccination to eligible people. The DH has also strengthened the relevant system safeguard measures of the electronic vaccination record.

     The DH received on March 28 report from a private doctor under the vaccination programme that after administering a dose of CoronaVac on a 32-year-old male on the day, the doctor noted from the person’s electronic vaccination record, through eHealth System (Subsidies) (eHS(S)), that he had received one dose of Comirnaty at a Community Vaccination Centre (CVC) on March 12. However, the man did not disclose that he had received the first dose of Comirnaty during his consultation with the doctor. The doctor has arranged further medical consultation for the man to follow up on his medical conditions and alleged that advice was given to the man at that time against receiving another dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

     Subsequently, during the DH’s follow-up of the electronic vaccination record in the eHS(S) for the man, it was noted that he did not follow the advice of the private doctor concerned and had received another dose of Comirnaty, which was his third dose of COVID-19 vaccination, at a CVC on April 11. Moreover, he had not disclosed his complete vaccination history to the working staff of the CVC at that time.

     The DH has conducted site inspection to the concerned private clinic and no other irregularities were noted. The DH has also made special arrangement for medical follow-up to the man. As of now, report of adverse events following mixed doses of vaccination of the man has not been received.

     An advisory letter has been issued to the private doctor as the doctor did not comply with DH’s Doctor’s Guide and did not check the client’s electronic vaccination record at eHS(S) before administration of vaccine. In addition, reminder to check for vaccination record before vaccine administration in accordance with DH Doctor’s Guide was issued via email to all health service providers under COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

     In addition, the DH earlier followed up on private doctors who have administered the first dose of CoronaVac vaccine on non-Hong Kong residents involving nine vaccine recipients so far. The DH has reminded the concerned private doctors and also all other health service providers under COVID-19 Vaccination Programme that they must follow the guideline and only administer the vaccine on eligible people. In view of the health of the vaccine recipients, the DH will continue to follow-up and notify the concerned private doctors to provide a second dose to them in order to complete the vaccination course.

     On the other hand, the DH noted there were occasions where vaccine recipients, who have received their first dose of CoronaVac vaccine at private doctors or clinics, could not obtain a second dose with their doctor or other private clinics for various reasons. If needs arise, these vaccine recipients can enquire with the DH or proceed directly to CVCs where centre staff can make individual arrangement accordingly.

     The spokesperson of the DH stressed that, “System safeguard measures are in place in the existing online booking system and eHS(S) to ensure that the arrangement of the COVID-19 vaccination programme meets the requirements. The DH will continue to communicate with participating doctors to ensure that vaccination services are provided in accordance with the guidelines. Enhancement to the system safeguard measures has also been made to support different scenarios of vaccine administration. The DH strongly appeals to members of the public to report their medical and vaccination record accurately to healthcare professionals and adhere to recommendations and advice on COVID-19 vaccination given by them. The practice of mixed doses vaccination involves uncertainty and risk, and is still in the experimental stage, which should only be conducted under the supervision of healthcare professionals.”