GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - Greenville Health System said Thursday Pediatric Associates-Easley and Pediatric Associates-Powdersville will offer free re-immunizations to hundreds of children who may not have received full doses of some immunizations administered as part of well-child visits.
GHS said the affected families were notified this week.
“GHS believes that very few children actually received less-than-optimal dosing, but even one child is too many,” GHS spokesperson Sandy Dees said in a news release Thursday morning. “Out of extreme caution, GHS has offered free re-immunizations to all potentially affected children at the two practice locations.”
Dees said approximately 1,800 children, about 14 percent of patients at the two locations, will require re-immunization.
Dr. Robin LaCroix, the medical director of the Children's Hospital of Greenville Health System, said an internal audit revealed the issue, and that the team member who provided the immunizations in question is no longer with the practice.
“We’re committed to taking whatever extra steps are necessary to ensure children who could have potentially been under-immunized receive the correct immunization dosing as quickly as possible,” LaCroix said in a news release. She said re-immunization is a safe procedure and said the CDC recommends repeat immunizations in situations where immunization cannot be confirmed.
"We want families to know that their children's health and safety is our top priority,” LaCroix said in the news release. “We apologize for any worry we’ve caused and for the inconvenience of re-immunizing their children. We will work hard to make sure all potentially affected children receive full and appropriate immunizations in ways that are most convenient for their families.”
Cheyanne Reyes is one parent who will be ensuring her 1-year-old son gets the shots again.
"I called up there because I just wanted to make sure it was real and didn't want to stress about and they said yes it's real. We're looking into the names of all the people that could be affected and she called a few hours later and said unfortunately he was one of the ones affected."
Reyes says her son needs Prevnar, influenza, HIB, D-tap, and polio vaccines done again, and she's not pleased with what happened.
"I'm pretty mad. He could have got really sick if he were one of those kids with a really horrible immune system, and he's been sick enough this year so I don't know if that's to blame."
Pediatric Associates offices in Easley and Powdersville will offer the free immunizations during regular office hours as well as at special after-hours and weekend clinics. Dees said affected families were notified via mail and urged to call 864-855-0001 to schedule re-immunizations or ask questions.