The doctor stood down for giving two Queensland people an overdose of the Covid-19 vaccine was not adequately trained in administering the drug, it has been revealed.
Speaking to Australia's Parliament on Wednesday, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the doctor had not completed the training as part of the immunisation rollout.
"On further investigation, Healthcare Australia has now advised the doctor had not completed the required training," he told the House of Representatives.
"This is being investigated by Healthcare Australia and we are expecting a report later today.
"Healthcare Australia has also advised that this doctor has not been involved in the vaccine rollout in any other facilities.
"I have again reaffirmed my apologies to the family … I have asked the department to take action against the company and the doctor for what is a clear breach on both fronts."
Earlier in the day, Hunt revealed an 88-year-old man and 94-year-old woman were given an overdose of the Pfizer vaccine at Holy Spirit aged care home at Carseldine, Queensland, on Tuesday.
"Basically a doctor gave an incorrect dose to two patients yesterday," he said.
"It's important we're upfront."
He said both patients were being monitored but had not shown signs of an adverse reaction.
The contractor has now stood down the doctor who administered the dose, after a nurse realised the mistake.
Hunt commended her "strength of character and alertness", saying safeguards they had put in place had worked.
"There was an initial error, there's no getting around that but … three safeguards immediately kicked into place," Hunt said.
"Firstly, the nurse on scene responded. Secondly, the company responded, and thirdly, the health care agencies, the co-operation between the Commonwealth and Queensland responded."
Australia's chief medical officer Paul Kelly said medical practitioners received the same vaccination training.
"There may be a need for us to modify that going forward but we look at the same training for nurses, Aboriginal health workers as well as doctors, anyone who is involved with this vaccine rollout," Prof Kelly said.
"We are confident they are good and comprehensive."
PALASZCZUK BLAMES VACCINE FAIL ON AUSSIE PM
The Queensland Premier has levelled the blame for the vaccine overdose of two aged care residents "entirely" on the Morrison government as she demanded an urgent national Cabinet meeting.
Western Australia's Premier has also criticised the federal government for the "big mistake", saying they must ensure public confidence is maintained in the vaccination programme.
"None of this is good enough and the federal government must explain itself," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the state parliament today.
She insisted the vaccine programme was "entirely the responsibility" of the Morrison government, which had leaned on private contractors to deliver the vital jab.
"I want to know what training is provided to the people the federal government is employing to administer the vaccines in our aged-care facilities.
"I want to know about the communications strategies for the next phases of the rollout of the vaccine."
Palaszczuk said the vaccine failure on just the second day of the rollout was disturbing because "people need and must have full confidence in this vaccine".
"The federal government needs to release when they are vaccinating people and the numbers they are vaccinating," she said.
WA Premier Mark McGowan described it as a "big mistake".
"It's in a commonwealth-controlled facility where the commonwealth government is responsible for the rollout of the vaccine," he told reporters.
"I just urge the commonwealth government to get on top of this and make sure they keep public confidence in the vaccination programme."
McGowan said the vaccine programme was a "carefully calibrated scheme" in WA, with two nurses present and patients monitored after being administered the jab.
"We've put in place measures to ensure patients receiving the vaccine are properly protected," he said.
The Premier said WA had administered 800 jabs so far, with another 1000 expected on Wednesday.
"It was always going to have a reasonably slow start, but I think it will pick up very quickly and we'll see major take-up of vaccinations around WA over time," he said.
- with James Hall and Angie Raphael