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'We might have a problem': Southland man receives second vaccination too soon

Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Aug 2021, 3:32pm
(Photo / Jason Oxenham)
(Photo / Jason Oxenham)

'We might have a problem': Southland man receives second vaccination too soon

Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Aug 2021, 3:32pm

A nurse told a Southland man who received two Covid-19 vaccinations in less than two weeks "we might have a problem", straight after the second vaccination was done.

Centre Bush resident John Scully said he received his first vaccination on August 6 or 8.

It was after he had received the second vaccination last Monday that the nurse made the comment.

"Straight after they jabbed me the lady in the wee cubicle on the laptop said, 'I think we might have a problem ... we shouldn't have given you the jab'."

Both nurses were very concerned but there was nothing they could do about it, he said.

Scully had booked both appointments over the phone through the 0800 number at the same time, and received a text before the second vaccination to remind him about his appointment, so did not think anything about the closeness of the two appointments.

On the day of the vaccination, one of the nurses said there had been a software upgrade about the time he was making the booking and this may have allowed the two appointments to be booked closely together.

However, it was what happened next that was of most concern to him.

It was several days later he received a call from a woman. He was not sure who she worked for, but assumed it was the Southern District Health Board.

"She supposedly didn't know what happened," Scully said.

"She told me, 'I need to investigate this and will get back to you', and I've never heard from her again."

On Wednesday, he received a phone call from the Southern District Health Board from a woman who was checking up on Scully's health, he said.

He phoned her back yesterday to say he wanted another booster in three months' time.

"'She made it quite clear to me I couldn't be getting any booster — that it hasn't been approved anywhere in New Zealand."

He told her he was not worried about the rest of New Zealand, just himself, and wanted to know the impact the closeness of the two vaccinations had on him and whether he was fully vaccinated.

"I don't know whether it's correct [fully vaccinated] or they've short-changed me.

"I don't have a clue and nobody is wanting to tell me anything."

The woman seemed very reluctant to talk to anyone in Wellington about it, he said.

Eventually, she told Scully she would talk to the Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Jack.

Scully said he was still exhausted and tired after his second vaccination.

"So whether it's that [the close vaccination period] that caused it I'm not sure."

He hoped it would be investigated further in case it was a national problem, he said.

The Southland Times yesterday reported Covid-19 vaccination operations group manager Astrid Koorneef said the Southern District Health Board had contacted Scully to apologise for the mistake and to reassure him about his health and wellbeing.

"The DHB and Ministry of Health are investigating this incident and will keep the person informed of any actions or outcomes."

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