The Keelung City Health Bureau has launched an investigation after high-school students were given a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago, despite a central government decision to suspend second doses for teenagers.
At a city council meeting on Wednesday, Keelung Councilor Lin Min-hsun (林旻勳) said that 450 students at Nuannuan Senior High School had received their second Pfizer-BioNTech dose on Oct. 29.
Bureau head Wu Tse-cheng (吳澤誠) said that his office in the middle of last month notified medical facilities and schools in the city to suspend provision of the vaccines to those aged 12 to 17.
No students have reported any adverse reactions other than common side effects, Wu said.
The central government’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices earlier this week suspended administration of second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the 12-to-17 age group due to concerns over myocarditis and pericarditis.
This particular vaccine is the only one that has been offered to the age group in Taiwan. The first doses were administered on Sept. 22.
Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle and outer lining of the heart respectively — have been reported in recipients of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna brands use the mRNA technology.
The bureau said that the 450 inoculations are being investigated, and that it aims to improve its protocols to prevent similar incidents.
When asked if the medical facilities were negligent, Wu only said that the medical staff were doing their jobs and working very hard.
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