There is a growing burden on the shoulders of forefront medical centers as COVID-19 vaccine reservations are concentrated around late August and early September. Citizens aged 60 to 74 are waiting for the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccines, those aged 55 to 59 are to get the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and even those under 50 plan to get the first shot. Amid the ever increasing workload at medical centers, they have to deal with three different types of vaccines in one go, increasing the risks of wrong does of vaccines.
As hospitals not only carry out a preliminary medical examination before vaccination but also take care of general visitors, they can vaccinate a limited number of people a day. Health authorities used to set the number of visitors that a doctor can have a prior medical checkup a day at 100 people. With a growing number of second jabs administered, the authorities have increased the daily maximum to 150. From a perspective of health providers, their workload has doubled.
For example, a medical center in Seoul will see an excess of reservations up to 175 visitors for vaccination on Aug. 23 alone as health authorities have allowed more reservations to be made than the maximum on the account that we have some time until a large number of people go to get the second jabs. Health authorities announced that they will address the issue with excessive vaccine reservations within this week. However, medical professionals express concern that such dealing with different types of vaccines on a tight schedule can increase the likelihood of injecting the wrong jabs into the wrong persons. As of July 16, the number of cases with wrong does of vaccines reached a total of 426 nationwide. Such risks can rise further because it will be the first time for each of medical centers to inject each of different vaccines into a large number of people at the same time.
If people get overdosed or underdosed, or are given the wrong vaccine, vaccines may not work out or any unexpected adverse effect can occur, which will only erode public trust in the vaccination program. With the Delta variant spreading in the 4th wave of pandemic across the nation, it is important to accelerate the pace of vaccination but equally importantly, safety should have priority. The best way to a higher level of safety in vaccination is to adjust the number of reservations to curb any excess of visitors to medical centers by revamping the vaccine reservation system.