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CALL 6: 1,600 clinic patients notified flu shots, other vaccines may be ineffective

Temperature control system not working properly
Posted at 11:02 AM, Jan 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-02 22:36:21-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you recently received a vaccine or TB skin test at a Walgreens clinic operated by Community Health Network, you may have to get another one.

Community Health Network recently mailed letters to 1,600 patients, warning them flu shots and other vaccines they received at central Indiana clinics may not have been fully effective.

Community Health Network said they found a problem with the temperature control system.

“During a recent internal safety check of the Community Clinic at Walgreens locations, we discovered a malfunction of the temperature control system for refrigerators and freezers where vaccines are stored,” said Bobbie Brooks, spokesperson for Community Health Network. “That malfunction may have caused some vaccines not to be fully effective.”

Community Health Network immediately suspended the administration of vaccinations at all Community Clinic at Walgreens locations until new thermometers could be installed.

“We also communicated the issue to the Indiana State Department of Health and worked with the vaccine manufacturers to determine vaccine effectiveness,” said Brooks. “We contacted individuals who received potentially ineffective vaccines, are reimbursing them and offered to revaccinate them at no charge. Receiving a second, effective vaccination poses no additional health risk.”

In addition to Walgreens, network officials have identified two other locations -- Community MedCheck Speedway and Community MedCheck East -- where patients received vaccines that may not have been as effective as they should have been.

“We are contacting these patients, and will reimburse and revaccinate them, as appropriate, at no charge,” said Brooks.

Call 6 Investigates' Kara Kenney received a flu shot on Nov. 2 at the Walgreens clinic at 16th and Meridian Street, and Kenney received a letter around Christmas notifying her the vaccine may have been ineffective.

Community Health Network also enclosed a $10 gas gift card as an apology for the inconvenience.

According to the letter, patients must bring the letter to a clinic by February 28 to get the vaccine at no cost.

“We are committed to delivering exceptional patient care and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patients and their families,” said Brooks.

A spokesperson for Walgreens directed inquiries on the vaccines to Community Health Network.

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