- Published: Monday, 20 July 2009 17:00
- Written by The Skanner
State health officials say vaccine storage errors may have compromised tens of thousands of preventive shots given recently to Oregonians. They said the problem mostly affects children vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type B, hepatitis A & B, human papillomavirus, viral influenza and pneumococcal disease. Because clinics typically store vaccines in a single place, some adult vaccines also may have been affected. Officials are recommending that nearly 22,000 patients in 12 cities go back to their clinics and get vaccinated again, at no cost. The affected clinics include Providence Health & Services, where about 7,400 patients who received immunizations at its clinics in the Gateway, Milwaukie and Sunnyside clinics in the Portland area should come in to be vaccinated again. Also providence at Cannon Beach, Seaside and Warrenton clinics on the north coast; and Doctors Clinic, Jacksonville, Medford Family Practice and Shady Cove clinics in southern Oregon. The issue with the vaccines was discovered during inspection visits from the Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Division earlier this spring and summer at clinics that participate in the federal Vaccines for Children program. Officials said the immunization program gives about 840,000 vaccines to participating clinics for children who receive Medicaid services or are uninsured. Inspections at the clinics are required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week the clinics are sending letters to the patients recommending revaccinations. There will be no charge to the patients. Additionally, the larger clinics have set up hotlines and will be providing additional information to the communities. The phone number for The Corvallis Clinic is 541-754-1283. The phone number for Providenceâ€™s vaccine call center is 1-877-503-9620. Also, since the storage errors were discovered, the state has required all 600 clinics that participate in the Vaccines for Children program to submit temperature logs for a thorough review.