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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Some days ago my son had his Hepatitis B vaccine. A few hours after the shot the nurse phoned and told me that she discovered that vaccine had been stored out of the recommended temperature and therefore the shot is considered invalid and needs to be repeated. Should this shot be recorded in the child`s record despite being invalid?
Thank you very much for the question. Based on the information you shared it is difficult to give a simple answer. Certainly, if vaccines are kept at a sub-optimal temperature, they may be less effective. However, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that the medical staff contact the vaccine manufacturer for guidance when the vaccines are not kept at the appropriate temperature. I would discuss this with your child's physician to determine whether an additional Hepatitis B vaccine should be administered. If it is repeated, then I would omit the previous vaccine as it would not count. Thanks for the question.
Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati