Some Upstate Children Need A Boost

Of vaccine after doctor's office error

Patrick Gentry
November 30, 2018 - 1:23 pm

Pediatric Associates-Easley and Pediatric Associates-Powdersville will offer free re-immunizations to children who may not have received full doses of some immunizations administered as part of well-child visits. Families were notified this week.

GHS believes that very few children actually received less-than-optimal dosing, but even one child is too many. Out of extreme caution, GHS has offered free re-immunizations to all potentially affected children at the two practice locations. Approximately 1,800 children – or 14 percent of patients at the two locations – will require re-immunization. Only Pediatric Associates offices in Easley and Powdersville are involved.

The two offices will offer the free immunizations during regular office hours as well as at special after-hours and weekend clinics. The special clinics are scheduled for the first two weeks of December but will run longer as needed to ensure families have access to convenient times to re-immunize their children as soon as possible. Families with potentially impacted children were sent certified and regular-delivery letters this week.

Families were urged to contact the practice at 864-855-0001 to schedule re-immunizations or ask questions.  

Robin LaCroix, MD, medical director of the Children's Hospital of Greenville Health System, said the issue was identified through an internal audit and that GHS took quick action to remedy the situation. An investigation attributed the problem to human error. GHS has taken appropriate follow-up actions, and the team member who provided the immunizations in question is no longer with the practice.

GHS, which has robust protocols around immunization, proactively reported the matter to state health authorities.

“We’re committed to taking whatever extra steps are necessary to ensure children who could have potentially been under-immunized receive the correct immunization dosing as quickly as possible,” LaCroix said.

LaCroix stressed that re-immunization was safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control all agree that this protection is important. The CDC recommends repeat immunizations in situations where immunization cannot be confirmed. GHS physicians have already analyzed each potentially affected child's medical record and developed protocols to ensure the needed immunizations are given on the correct schedule to each child. 

GHS is not aware of any of the potentially impacted children developing illnesses as a result of not receiving full doses of immunizations, said LaCroix.

"We want families to know that their children's health and safety is our top priority,” said LaCroix. “We apologize for any worry we’ve caused and for the inconvenience of re-immunizing their children. We will work hard to make sure all potentially affected children receive full and appropriate immunizations in ways that are most convenient for their families.”

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