Hundreds of Sheffield children need new vaccinations after two-year storage error

Shiregreen Medical Centre which has been storing vaccinations at the wrong temperature
Shiregreen Medical Centre which has been storing vaccinations at the wrong temperature
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Hundreds of Sheffield children and babies will need new injections against serious diseases after a surgery discovered it had been storing vaccines at the wrong temperature for up to two years.

Shiregreen Medical Centre, which has more than 7,000 patients on its books, has sent letters to parents after discovering potential problems with vaccinations given between August 2013 and July 2015.

Children and babies have been given vaccines that ‘may have been less effective than normal’ – meaning they will have to get new jabs against childhood diseases like Meningitis C, polio and measles.

NHS England has confirmed more than 300 children will have to be revaccinated, with 26 pregnant women now needing new whooping cough injections.

Records are still being reviewed to establish whether further patients will need new vaccinations.

One mum whose child will now need new vaccinations said patients are angry at what has happened.

She said: “People are absolutely disgusted. Even people who haven’t got kids can’t believe it.”

She said one of her friends had seen new fridges being delivered to the practice yesterday following the temperature storage error.

A spokesman on behalf of NHS England and Shiregreen Medical Centre said: “We can confirm that as a precaution we have invited 322 children to be revaccinated after it was discovered that a number of vaccines were stored at the incorrect temperature.

“We cannot be sure that vaccines stored at the incorrect temperature give maximum protection, therefore we took the joint decision to write to all those affected in order to encourage them to make an appointment to be revaccinated, ensuring they are as protected as they can be.

“A comprehensive investigation has been conducted and systems and processes at the practice have been reviewed to minimise the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future.”

A letter sent by lead GP Dr Gillian North to affected families said: “During routine checks of procedures at Shiregreen Medical Centre, we identified that vaccines held at the medical centre may not have been stored at the correct temperature.

“Being given a vaccine stored at the wrong temperature is not harmful but it is possible that some of the vaccines given at the practice may have been less effective than normal.

“Therefore we cannot be certain that all children vaccinated at Shiregreen Medical Centre between August 2013 and July 2015 are adequately protected against the diseases for which they were vaccinated.”

Dr North added: “We would like to apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused.

“All steps have been taken to ensure, where possible, similar incidents do not occur in the future.”