Out-of-date jabs

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Human error is being blamed for patients getting expired vaccinations at Queenstown Medical Centre earlier this month.

In an emailed statement, centre boss Shane Zeederberg says two patients were given vaccinations which were three days out of date.

Zeederberg dodged Mountain Scene’s question regarding how the slip-up happened.

But Southern District Health Board’s medical officer of health Keith Reid says: “It can be attributed to a human error in failing to follow the correct protocol for checking dates of stored vaccines.”

The vaccine in question is known as Infanrix-IPV. The jab – which can be for adults but also given to four-year-olds as a “booster” – protects against infectious diseases diphtheria and polio, as well as tetanus and whooping cough.

Zeederberg says the mishap triggered a “full investigation”. He adds: “A robust review has been conducted and appropriate action taken.”

The centre contacted the two patients’ families with an explanation and apologised.

Expired stock was thrown out, advice was sought from Public Health South and the centre contacted the local immunisation coordinator and the Centre of Adverse Reactions Monitoring.

Reid says the national Immunisation Advisory Centre was also contacted and an alert sent to all practices in the area to check for expired vaccines with similar expiry dates.

Zeederberg says it’s “highly likely” the jabs are doing their job but re-immunisation has been offered.

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz

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