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Vaccine fridge fault concern

GPs have been warned over their vaccine storage systems

after 813 patients at three

practices in Aberdeen received damaged immunisations.

NHS Grampian has launched an investigation after staff noticed vaccines were being stored in a defective fridge, at temperatures outside the range recommended by the manufacturers.

Practice records showed 404 children and 409 adults were given the damaged vaccines

between October 2004 and

October this year.

Dr Helen Howie, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Grampian, said: 'Vaccines may not have been consistently stored between the manufacturers' recommended temperatures of 2°C and 8°C. Therefore it is not possible to be certain that vaccinations administered at during that time will have provided full protection.'

Experts called for closer scrutiny of what is a 'huge issue for general practice'.

Dr Brian Crichton, a GP in Solihull who has conducted

research on vaccine storage, said: 'We need to look at this as a serious issue.

'Efficacy can drop quite rapidly if medications or vaccines are left outside the recommended temperature range.'

Affected patients have been offered booster vaccinations and all other vaccine storage fridges in Grampian practices are being examined for faults.

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