Vaccination mistakes

Inquiry in Widnes as children given adult swine flu jab
29 January 2010

The trust said the children would not suffer long-term effects

An investigation is under way after 59 children were given adult doses of the swine flu vaccine by mistake.

The children, who were all aged under five, received the vaccine at a health centre in Widnes, Cheshire, on Tuesday.

Youngsters are supposed to receive a maximum dose of 0.25ml of Pandemrix, but were given double the amount.

Halton and St Helens Community Health Services NHS trust said none of the children were at "significant" risk and urged worried parents to contact them.

'Isolated incident'

The mistake emerged after some children visiting the town's Health Care Resource Centre began suffering side-effects.

"We are extremely sorry for the anxiety and concern this has caused and have been advised by clinical experts that no significant or long-term side effects will be caused," said a spokesperson.

"Swine flu vaccination side effects in children and adults are typified as some mild flu like symptoms, reddening of the injection site and a sore arm."

The trust is urging parents not to let the "isolated incident" put them off getting their children immunised.

It said the vaccine, when administered correctly, provided important protection against the virus.

"The safety of our patients is our first priority and we are taking the investigation extremely seriously," the spokesperson added.

"We would like to reassure patients and the public that this sort of incident is very rare and that every action is being taken to ensure it does not happen again."