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Dozens of children and babies to be revaccinated after fridge fault

The fridge at Denburn Medical Practice in Aberdeen malfunctioned in late October.

vaccine baby
CDC/Amanda Mills

Fifty-six children and babies will have to be revaccinated after a fridge used to store vaccines malfunctioned at an Aberdeen health centre.

The fridge at Denburn Medical Practice developed the fault in late October, but the problem was not spotted by staff until mid-December.

The vaccines were stored at a higher temperature than recommended as a result of the fault, reducing their effectiveness.

The compromised vaccines are not believed to be harmful.

The families of the affected children, who are all babies and pre-school age children, were contacted individually by the health centre.

Denburn Medical Practice partner Dr Alistair McEwan, said: “The fault in the fridge was very subtle and I am thankful that the vaccinating staff picked it up so early. It has allowed us to act quickly to minimise any potential harm.

“We apologise to the affected families for any inconvenience but would like to reassure them that we do not anticipate any health problems arising from this.”

Dr Diana Webster, consultant in public health medicine, added: “Our concern is that the effectiveness of the vaccines may have been compromised so they may not provide the necessary long term protection. The expert advice we received was that boosters should be offered as a precautionary measure, and we can reassure parents there is no risk from the additional dose of vaccine.

“The welfare of patients remains our highest priority, and we are satisfied there is no risk to children from the repeated vaccinations. We would urge parents to take up the appointments offered by the practice.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause but would remind patients that immunisation remains the best way to protect against infection.”

The vaccines involved prevent tetanus, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough and haemophilus influenzae B, meningococcal C and Rotavirus infections.

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