The Taipei Department of Health yesterday denied accusations by independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Ying-meng (林穎孟), who had said that at least two Taipei residents received expired doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in the city.
Lin late on Tuesday wrote on Facebook that she has evidence that the Taipei City Government had let expire part of its stock of AstraZeneca vaccines, donated by Japan, and that she would reveal her evidence yesterday.
During a visit to a vaccination station in the Taipei Flora Expo Park (台北花博公園) yesterday morning, Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) commented on the accusations, saying that all the city’s AstraZeneca vials had been used by Oct. 2, one day before they expired.
Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times
Taipei received 1,500 vials, which were part of a batch that arrived on Sept. 18 for the eighth round of vaccinations, and another 246 vials from the same batch were on Sept. 23 allocated for dialysis patients, Tsai said.
As there were some unused doses, special outpatient clinics were on Sept. 27 opened at 11 healthcare facilities, where people could receive their second dose, he said.
Taipei’s vaccination monitoring system showed that all of the vaccines had been used up by Oct. 2, Tsai said.
Showing the COVID-19 vaccination record of a married couple in their 50s who live in Taipei’s Daan District (大安), Lin said that they received their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at Central Clinic and Hospital on Friday last week, after booking their appointments on Monday last week.
The record showed that they received vaccines of the K0043 batch, which according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the health department expired on Oct. 3, she said.
Lin said the batch arrived in Taiwan on Sept. 7, passed lot released testing on Sept. 15, and part of it was between Sept. 18 and 23 delivered to Taipei health authorities.
“Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) should take responsibility and check all expired vaccine batches. He should clarify what went wrong in administering them and punish the agencies involved. He should also contact residents [who received vaccines of the batch] to follow up on their health condition,” she wrote on Facebook.
Taipei Department of Health Director Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑) yesterday told a news conference that the CDC on Tuesday informed the health department that it received complaints pertaining to the case from Taipei residents and asked the department to clarify the situation.
Huang said that as the batch’s expiry date was short after Taiwan took delivery, the health department monitored inoculations and the remaining amount on a daily basis.
The National Immunization Information System showed that there were 13 vials remaining in Taipei on Oct. 1, but they were used up by the next day.
A total of 11 vials from the batch were given to the hospital on Sept. 24 and Sept. 27, and they were used by Sept. 29, as the facility had inoculated 124 people with them, he added.
The vaccine doses that the couple received were from another batch — A1058 — which expires on Dec. 31, Huang said, adding that hospital staff had selected the wrong batch number when uploading data to the online vaccination record system.
The same error was also made when uploading data for 249 people who received COVID-19 vaccines at the facility on the same date, he added.
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