Tests on vaccine find no problems so far

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 November, 2010, 12:00am

No irregularities have been found so far with a hepatitis vaccine that was the subject of a complaint last week by an elderly man who felt ill after receiving a shot.

Centre for Health Protection controller Dr Thomas Tsang Ho-fai said the centre had sent officers to the Jockey Club Wo Lok Community Health Centre in Kwun Tong, where the man received the vaccination, to carry out preliminary investigation and collect samples of the vaccine for laboratory testing.

Preliminary findings show the shots had not expired.

The centre also contacted the manufacturer, which said it had received no reports of irregularities with the vaccine.

'We found the refrigerator in the health centre which keeps the vaccines was at a normal temperature,' Tsang said.

But the centre needed to wait for the results of laboratory tests and further surveillance before it could give a final conclusion, Tsang said.

Fears of tainted vaccine were triggered last week when an elderly man said he felt dizzy and fatigued after receiving a vaccination for hepatitis A and B at the community centre.

The patient said the nurse who gave him the injection stopped the vaccination halfway after she discovered irregularities with the vaccine.

Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok said on Saturday there were two important concerns in the incident.

The first was whether the vaccine had been tainted in a way that it lost efficacy or could be hazardous for patients.

The second was whether the medical staff had followed proper procedures during the vaccination process.

Asked whether the department would immediately suspend use of the vaccine, Chow said such a decision would depend on various factors, such as the batch of vaccine involved and whether the shots had been stored correctly.