It turns out a Queensland doctor who gave two people an overdose off the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine hadn’t completed the necessary training. They’ve now been stood down for obvious reasons.

Patients are supposed to receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks apart. However on Tuesday, the doctor in question actually gave two doses consecutively to two people aged 88 and 94 at Brisbane’s Holy Spirit Nursing Home. There are even reports the two residents revived four doses in total.

The doctor was employed by Healthcare Australia, not the nursing home itself.

The chief executive of St Vincent’s Care Services which runs the nursing home in question, Lincoln Hopper, described the fuckup as “extremely concerning”.

“Certainly, health authorities and contracted vaccination providers should be re-emphasising to their teams the need to exercise greater care so an error like this isn’t repeated,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

The government said it wanted to be as upfront as possible about the incident.

“On further investigation, Healthcare Australia has now advised the doctor had not completed the required training,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said in the House of Representatives.

“Healthcare Australia has also advised that this doctor has not been involved in the vaccine rollout in any other facilities.

“I have again reaffirmed my apologies to the family […] I have asked the department to take action against the company and the doctor for what is a clear breach on both fronts.”

The thing about the Pfizer coronavrius vaccine is that there’s six doses per vial. These so-called “multi-dose vials” are virtually unheard of in Australia, and learning to use them gets its own special module in the vaccination training program.

“Nobody in Australia that gives vaccines at the moment is experienced with multi-dose vials,” Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy told a parliamentary committee earlier in February.

St Vincent’s will now report the doctor to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

“There was an initial error, there’s no getting around that but […] three safeguards immediately kicked into place,” Hunt added.

“Firstly, the nurse on scene responded. Secondly, the company responded, and thirdly, the health care agencies, the co-operation between the Commonwealth and Queensland responded.”

Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

Image: Getty Images / Stipe Majic