Medical group offers patients re-vaccination

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Cruden Medical Group is offering re-vaccination to 260 patients after a check found that vaccines kept in the practice fridge in Hatton may have been stored at temperatures outside the range recommended by the vaccine manufacturers.

NHS Grampian’s Health Protection team is emphasising the vaccines will not have caused any harm, but may not provide long-term protection.

The vaccines concerned are those given as part of the childhood vaccination programme and some travel-related vaccines given to adults. These include vaccines given to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, polio, hepatitis A and B.

A case by case review of individual patient immunisation records has been completed and every patient involved is being contacted with most being offered further immunisation as a precautionary measure. A small number of patients are being offered a blood test prior to further immunisation where this is clinically appropriate.

Public health records have been thoroughly checked since the incident came to light in March 2011 and there is no evidence of any illness in the practice area due to ineffective vaccine.

Dr Diana Webster, consultant in public health medicine, said: “The public health investigation led by NHS Grampian’s Health Protection team has shown that, since June 2010, vaccines stored within the practice fridge may not have been kept consistently within the vaccine manufacturers’ recommended temperature range of 2°C and 8°C.

“We have sought expert advice and been advised the majority of patients involved should be offered a booster vaccination as a precautionary measure. We can reassure parents and patients there is no significant risk associated with receiving an additional dose of vaccine.

“All the parents and patients involved will be offered the chance to speak to an experienced professional and an appointment for re-vaccination. We would encourage parents and patients to take up their appointment when the clinics have been arranged. A small number of patients who have moved to other practices have also been advised.”

Concerns about the vaccine fridge were first expressed by staff on March 18. Since then, the task of confirming the immunisation records of individual patients has been under way, and letters providing information and advice were posted to the affected patients yesterday.

A helpline - 08000 282836 - has been set up for anyone seeking reassurance before their appointment is due and will be available daily 8am-10pm