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Thousands of patients warned after vaccine bungle

 

Thousands of patients vaccinated by two Sydney GPs will have to be revaccinated after vaccines were found to have expired or not been stored properly.

Vaccines at a Burwood (NSW) general practice were improperly stored in the practice refrigerator – leaving some too hot or cold – while others were expired.

So, patients vaccinated since 1 January 2010 by Drs Darrel and Brinda Weinman at 40 Lindsay Street, Burwood, NSW, have been recommended to get revaccinated as any vaccines given may not have been effective.

According to AJP, the investigation found that vaccines such as MMR, pertussis, hepatitis B and influenza among others were affected. Private vaccines were not affected and there is no evidence that travel vaccines were stored at the practice.

About 3000 patients have already been contacted.

“However, due to inconsistent record keeping at the practice, it has been difficult to identify which patients have been vaccinated and to obtain contact details for all patients,” said Sydney Local Health District Clinical Director of Public Health, Dr Leena Gupta.

“While NSW Health does not have responsibility for GPs, we are assisting co-regulators the Medical Council of NSW and the NSW HealthCare Complaints Commission in investigating and responding to these incidents,” said Dr Gupta.

Patients will need to find a new GP for revaccination as the Burwood practice is now closed

Any patients of the practice who have not yet received a letter from the Sydney Local Health District are encouraged to visit the website or ring 1800 959 939 for more information.

7 comments

Accepted that the investigation is proceeding, but a very firm statement is warranted that those responsible for the lapses in management control and record keeping will be identified and action taken in their respect.  It is not enough that the 'Burwood practice' is now closed, the person/s responsible would presumably still be working in the field or could do so in the future.

How can the public manage their own health if there is likely to be no public reporting?

In a world where a footballer is castigated publicly and loses his job for quoting a passage from the Bible, shouldn't this be receiving more attention?  

I got my flu vaccine from the chemist where they know how to handle medicines

... beside at the GP it would have cost me $37 to receive my free flu shot whereas at the Chemist it was only $20.

Something terribly wrong with our system.

I cannot believe that some people were injected with vaccines that were "were improperly stored in the practice refrigerator – leaving some too hot or cold – while others were expired."

and to think this has been going on since Jan 2010 ???

I got the vaccine from my doctor who is a very meticulous woman.

I got mine while in the hospital I hope that will be more than ok

Where there is a lapse in the management controls and for so long for something as simple and important as vaccination, one would have imagined that the government health officials would have leapt out of their chairs to establish what other systemic deficiencies there were in management controls.  For example, what about sterilisation protocols in the practice?  Management of records?  etc

Up until recently and outside of the routine vaccinations, I have been very fortunate to have had very little contact with the medical system.  I can't say I have been very impressed by the mistakes that affected me in that short time. 

We do need to share the simple practical measures we take to protect ourselves.  Because the watchers who are supposed to be protecting our interests are very likely too busy or on autopilot.  

 

Sometimes I leave my car at home and use a taxi into the city. Yesterday I had a very sweet young man as my driver and during our chat I asked whether he had taken the flu vaccination..to my surprise, he said no because he never had the flu. I am flabbergasted that Swan taxis would allow this considering so many have already died in WA.

I feel everyone providing public services should be vaccinated.

Not everyone has the flu.

I went through the 1956 Pandemic with everyone in our company with exception of myself and one driver of heavy goods dept healthy and working. We both got a bonus when others returned as kept the company which was transport - moving.   

My husband has also never had the flu. 

So its not a good idea to want everyone to go have a vaccination they dont need. 

And by the time today's ppl start work - a lot later than our generation - age 14 legal - and now still at school at 18 when considered an adult and able to sign a contract etc. They would know if prone to get the flu surely? 

Hi Berry,

If you have been exposed to the flu you and your husband would not be proof from contracting it.  However, you may both have a diet that is rich in antioxidants, which can reduce symptoms enormously but not eradicate the virus.  Inherited DNA helps too apparently.

The problem is though that you are both still carriers while infected but not displaying obvious symptoms. 

Also, the virus is always changing and if a more virulent one comes around you may want to start having the vaccination.

Not referring to you in particular but it is prudent for parents and carers, teachers and so on too, to have the vax as a routine.

Just because you don't exhibit symptoms, it doesn't mean you don't have the flu, researchers say. You could be just as contagious. One sneeze from you can infect all those around you.

I agree Sophie that everyone in public services should be vaccinated. Actually, new rules are soon to be implemented in various states requiring all health care workers to have the jab.

Typhoid Influenza Mary (similar but not the same)

Fairly confident I got the right one, but I havn't had cold or flu for over 10years Thats since I retired and had to take daily pain medication.. At work I got it twice a year, bad.

Wouldn't like to guess what will happen if I get bad cold or flu again, it will probably be fatal, due to my low exposure.

7 comments