Patients of Halifax pediatrician might need new flu shots

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Public Health officials are calling parents of 27 children who received a flu shot from Dr. William Vitale in the fall of 2013 that may not have been effective.

As experts continue to examine Vitale's records, they believe he may, in some instances, have improperly mixed the seasonal flu vaccine with some routine childhood immunizations.

Children who received the seasonal flu vaccine from the Halifax pediatrician this season, combined with a routine vaccination, may not have proper immunity to the flu.

"We know that the seasonal or H1N1 flu is active in Canada now," said Dr. Robin Taylor, Medical Officer of Health for the Capital District Health Authority. "We also know that young children are especially vulnerable to the flu, so we're reaching out to parents to ensure their children are re-vaccinated quickly."

As the investigation continues, the scope of affected patients may change.

Capital Health is offering a re-vaccination clinic for patients of Vitale in the Halifax area who do not have a family physician. The clinic opened  Jan. 8. So far, the clinic has received 137 calls from patients, and 57 appointments have been booked. To book an appointment at the clinic, call 481-5813.

Patients should not go to emergency rooms and walk-in clinics, because they are not designed to perform routine immunizations.

Organizations: Capital District Health Authority

Geographic location: Halifax, Canada

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