A Sydney nurse says she was fired for giving unwanted doses of Pfizer vaccine to her daughter and two nephews instead of ejecting them in the bin.
Grandmother Kirstin Peterson, 67, was working for Healthcare Australia at an aged care facility and had three shots of the Pfizer jab left over at the end of the day.
Each vial contains five doses of the vaccine, but if the remaining doses are left over after it’s been opened, they can’t be kept and must be thrown away, but rather than dispose of the coveted vaccine, she gave them to her family members.
Each family member was eligible to receive Pfizer, she said, but her bosses fired the 40-year veteran nurse on the spot.
She said that it broke her heart to see those doses just being squirted in the bin and that she felt terrible because that could have been used for someone else, but instead, they go in the bin.
The nurse had been working at different aged care and disability homes in the Greater Sydney region and had been careful to minimise wastage, and she said that Pfizer has to be kept in very specific, demanding conditions and expires quickly, but Kirstin Peterson said that she only ever had to dump three doses in total, before the incident with her family.
She said that normally, she didn’t have any to throw out, and that she’d been pretty fortunate, and that on the day her family members came in, none were squirted out, they were used.
She maintained that she wouldn’t have opened a vial of vaccine just to vaccinate her own family.
She said that they were the spares that were going to be discarded anyway, that there was no gain for her, and there was no monetary incentive.
Kirstin Peterson urged her bosses not to fire her but the pleas fell on deaf ears, even though she asked if she could have another chance, but they said no, and she said that it was only her job at the moment, but they said that she’d squandered it.
But she added that she believes that she did the right thing, and that part of the code of conduct was to be clever and cost-effective.
The decision to fire her flies in the face of the official advice from NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant who was questioned about the incident.
The vaccine was going to be thrown out anyhow, so did it matter? At least it went on somebody that needed it. Slap her on the wrist, but don’t fire her, and rather than wasting this vaccine, there should be a call out for all those waiting for the jab to go in and get one, but don’t throw them out.
It’s absurd that this woman has been given the sack, and rather than just tossing them out, they should have put information out on social media to see if anyone wants a jab that day rather than waste them.
But at the end of the day, this woman did take dangerous drugs, and what if those children had an unfavourable reaction and perhaps life-threatening, but she just didn’t want them wasted, and it would have been a waste of a vaccine and the money it costs.
And let’s face it, Governments keep telling us there’s a shortage of the vaccine, so why bin three doses? Especially when the government are seeking to resource as many vaccines as possible.