Investigation launched after 14 members of public given expired COVID-19 vaccine in Kowloon Bay

Quality HealthCare Medical Centre in Kowloon Bay

29th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Department of Health (DH) has launched an investigation after 14 members of the public were given the Comirnaty bivalent vaccine after its suggested use-by date at Quality HealthCare’s medical centre in Kowloon Bay.

According to the DH, it has a regular inspection mechanism in place for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. This mechanism allows the DH to obtain regular information on the usage of vaccines by medical service providers enrolled in the programme.

During an inspection at Quality HealthCare’s medical centre, the DH discovered that the Comirnaty bivalent vaccines, which had been kept between one and eight days after the suggested use-by-date, were administered to 14 members of the public from 21st to 28th March. The vaccine manufacturer, Fosun Pharma, recommends that the vaccine be used within 70 days after thawing and kept at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

The DH has expressed its concern over the incident and has launched an investigation. The DH has reminded staff members to regularly check the suggested use-by date of vaccines, store vaccines with different use-by dates separately, and handle expired vaccines in accordance with DH guidelines. The DH has provided advice to Quality HealthCare’s medical centre to improve its vaccine management procedures and internal communications. The medical centre is urged to avoid similar incidents in the future.

The DH has consulted with local experts and inquired with Fosun Pharma on the safety, efficacy, and quality of the vaccine. Local experts have advised that no re-vaccination is needed for the affected persons. Quality HealthCare’s medical centre should actively follow up on the health condition of the affected persons.

The centre should also manage any discomfort reported immediately and make notification to the DH. The DH has yet to receive any discomfort reports of the affected persons. The DH will continue its follow-up to see if the medical centre has followed the DH’s guideline. If there is any violation of the guideline under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme or the private clinic agreement, the DH will handle according to established mechanism.