Health Department mistakenly gives out-of-date flu shots
By Carrie A. Mizell
Fifty-six people who got a seasonal flu shot at the Gilchrist County Health Department on Saturday, Oct. 10 have had to go back for a second shot after it was determined that an unknown number of out-of-date vaccines were mistakenly given.
Wesley Asbell, spokesman for the Gilchrist County Health Department, is calling the incident an unfortunate mistake, one that has never occurred before at the Trenton facility.
According to Asbell, health officials realized there was an issue when they went to reconcile the computer system on Tuesday, Oct. 12 and the lot numbers on several of the viles were not recognized by the computer’s inventory system.
The problem reportedly turned out to be that some of last year’s vaccine was left in the refrigerator where the vaccine vials are kept.
“We were not able to differentiate between who got last year’s vaccine and who got this year’s,” Asbell said.
After talking with officials from the Bureau of Immunizations in Tallahassee, Asbell said that health department officials began calling on Tuesday, Oct. 12, all 56 people who had received the seasonal flu shot to let them know what had occurred, apoligize for the mistake, and advise them that they would need to come in for a second flu shot.
Since October 10, 48 of the 56 people have been revaccinated, and the health department is still trying to contact the other six individuals.
Though several people who had to be revaccinated expressed concerns over the safety of receiving two flu vaccines in one year, Asbell explained that the vaccine manufacturers were contacted, and they indicated that not only was it safe, but it was what health department officials needed to do given the circumstances.
“The only thing we knew to do was correct the error,” Asbell said.
The spokesman said that any of the 56 patients who have further questions or concerns regarding their seasonal flu vaccine should contact the health department’s nursing staff.