Patients underdosed with flu vaccine


The underdosing of some patients with influenza vaccine last year was mainly caused by incorrect measuring instructions given to some pharmacists during training, an expert group has found.

The independent Risk Review Group’s report was presented to Minister for Health Dr James Reilly yesterday by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), the Pharmacy Regulator.

The report says that between September 5th and November 16th last year, 1,462 pharmacists completed the training course. The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) made arrangements with a private company, Hibernian Healthcare Ltd, to devise a training programme.

The cause of the error in training was the “misinterpretation of the instructions for measuring the dose of the vaccine’’.

PSI acting registrar Ciara McGoldrick said “learnings from this report will be incorporated into future training and development programmes and by the new Irish Institute of Pharmacy, which will oversee the management and delivery of continuing professional development for pharmacists in Ireland’’.

IPU president Rory O’Donnell said patients could have every confidence in the skills and competence of pharmacists to provide vaccination safely.

“The IPU looks forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the smooth introduction of the vaccination programme for the upcoming season,’’ he added.