Thursday, 15 December, 2011
Health Service Executive chiefs in Ireland had admitted that the wrong dosage of flu vaccine was provided to members of the public and their own employees – raising the potential for medical negligence claims to be made against them.
The situation occurred after Hibernian Healthcare – the company responsible for training pharmacists how to administer the flu vaccine – inadvertently instructed the pharmacists to administer child dosages of the vaccine to adult patients. The error only came to light after one of the country´s 835 trained pharmacists queried why so much vaccine was left in the syringe.
Although Hibernian Healthcare have agreed to cover the cost of recalling all 489 adults and 850 Health Service Executive employees and providing them with a booster injection, the potential for medical negligence claims could arise should one of the affected victims be unaware of the situation and contract the flu virus after being under the impression that they were protected against such an occurrence.
Many of the Health Service Executive´s employees who are provided with the flu vaccine are front-line workers most at risk from illness, and many of the members of the public who have had the incorrect dosage of flu vaccine administered are elderly or those with low immune systems. The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has confirmed that there are “no safety issues” for those receiving a revaccination – a problem may only exist if those given an inadequate initial vaccination fail to have a booster.
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