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Flu vaccine spoils in hospital’s faulty fridge

/ Source: The Associated Press

Nearly 1,900 doses of the scarce flu vaccine spoiled when a refrigerator broke down, the second batch at the same hospital to be ruined in a month.

The egg-based vaccine had been given to 300 patients and 725 doctors and staff members at West Allis Memorial Hospital. Another 850 doses were discarded because it may have lost its effectiveness, said Scott Thompson, vice president of medical operations with Aurora Health Care.

Those who received shots were never in danger of falling ill and will be revaccinated, Thompson said.

“I want to emphasize that the question here is the effectiveness of the vaccines, not their safety,” Thompson said, adding a second vaccination posed no threat either.

The refrigerator had other vaccines, such as rabies, pneumonia, rubella and mumps. Anyone who received those also will be revaccinated, he said.

In October, the hospital had to discard 2,250 doses of flu vaccine because they were mixed in with a delivery of computer parts and were not refrigerated.