KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 ― The medical officer caught on camera using an empty syringe on a teenager during the Covid-19 vaccination drive earlier this week simply made an honest mistake, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said today.

He explained that the officer had observed the necessary procedure prior to administering the shot, such as displaying the vaccine vial and the syringe and showed the syringe had the right dose of vaccine to the teenager’s mother.

“After showing the filled syringe, the medical officer proceeded to place it on a table so she could disinfect the teenager’s shoulder.

“However, she accidentally took an empty syringe and administered the jab from it,” he said in a statement.

The empty syringe was on the same table as the filled one.

A one-minute video of the incident had been widely shared on social media platforms, adding to concern among parents as Putrajaya accelerates its Covid-19 vaccination programme for adolescents ahead of schools reopening this month.

Dr Noor Azmi said the incident took place at the Universiti Malaya vaccination centre on September 30, around 3pm.

He said the whole process had been recorded and added that the teenager only realised that he may not have been given the right dose later and informed his parents. The medical officer was eventually alerted.

After apologising and discussing with the teenager’s parents, the medical officer went on to administer the correct dose, Dr Noor Azmi said.

The deputy minister explained that the MoH has what it calls a clinical Inadequate Dose Procedure.

“The Covid Inoculation Task Force regrets that such an incident took place and would like to convey its apologies to the parents and their child. We view this incident as a human error,” Dr Noor Azmi said.

He added that the medical officer has been reprimanded and that the ministry is also working to improve vaccination procedures.