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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 17:11 GMT
Probe after vaccine blunders
Child receives an injection
The vaccines may have been stored at the wrong temperature
A health board has launched an investigation after it emerged that more than 200 people had been immunised with vaccine supplies that may not have been fully effective

NHS Lanarkshire launched the probe after concerns that a doctor was unable to confirm that vaccines, administered over a two-year period, were stored at correct temperatures.

They were also concerned that some jabs were administered after their expiry date.

The errors were made at the surgery of Dr Tahira Idrees at Clarkston Medical Centre, Airdrie, between July 2001 and November 2003.

Minimal risk

The jabs affected are mainly for childhood diseases including polio, DTP - (diphtheria), tetanus and pertussis (Hib), Meningitis C and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

NHS Lanarkshire has set up an incident management team to deal with this situation.

Initial inquiries have indicated that 85 children and 130 adults are affected.

The health board said it was writing to all the patients affected but stressed there was a minimal risk of health problems as a direct result of receiving the vaccine.

However, patients may require further immunisation.

Dr David Cromie, consultant in public health medicine for NHS Lanarkshire, said: "We can understand that people will be concerned but can assure them that the risk to their health is minimal.

"We will be contacting everyone concerned and inviting them not only to discuss their concerns with health professionals but also to attend an appointment to receive some or all of the vaccinations.

Ineffective vaccine

"At the moment we have prioritised the cases involving children up to seven years old. There have been no reported cases of childhood illness due to ineffective vaccine."

He added: "We are treating this situation seriously and a thorough investigation of the circumstances which have led to these difficulties is under way.

"The GP concerned has expressed her regret at the anxiety and inconvenience caused and is assisting us with this investigation."

A helpline on 01698 286 363 has been set up to give information to anyone who believes they may have been affected.

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