A 16-year-old was erroneously given the first dose of the Moderna vaccine yesterday despite it not being approved by health authorities for those under 18. 

The Ministry of Health and Education revealed this in the wee hours of this morning and said that they have apologized to the parents for not verifying his birthdate, which the teen had wrongly registered when booking an appointment. The mistake resulted in the teen being registered as above 18, “making it possible for a Moderna vaccination center to be selected.”

“The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education take a serious view of this incident. We apologize for the inconvenience and anxiety caused, and have reached out to the youth’s parents to explain the situation,” their statement said, noting that the boy remains “generally well” after taking the wrong vaccine at the Kolam Ayer Community Club. Only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for those under 18 in Singapore. 

Experts from a COVID-19 vaccination committee here also said in a separate statement that they do not expect the teenager to “suffer any safety issues” following a review of the incident. It is not clear how the boy’s vaccination can be completed at this point. 

The youth’s actual age was discovered by ground staff while he was under post-injection observation. The teenager was then observed for side effects for a longer period of time of 50 minutes instead of the usual 30. 

Singapore students, especially those in graduating cohorts, yesterday began taking their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine. The state has so far reported 62,145 cases and 33 deaths. There were 35 new cases of locally transmitted infections yesterday.

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