Video: 1,500 children to be revaccinated after storage problem at Peninsula doctor’s office


SAN MATEO (KRON) — More than one thousand children are about to get some bad news — they will have to get more vaccinations because of a storage problem at a doctor’s office on the Peninsula.

A new refrigerator is replacing the one that was broken. For some reason, the old fridge had a tendency to dip below freezing for a time, and then go back to the proper temperature.

It is unclear how many times this happened, but the doctors at the San Mateo office of the Peninsula Pediatric Medical Group decided to recall patients to give the shots again. Doctors have not said for sure, but they believe the problem goes back to the beginning of the year.

And the affected vaccines range from whooping cough, to measles, and other vaccines that are common from birth to the age of 18.

“There is not harm at all for receiving a vaccine that has been frozen intermittently, but it’s not as effective as one that has not gone through that freezing and thawing cycle,” medical director Dr. Andrew Smith said.

More than 1,500 letters were sent out to the parents of the affected kids, telling them they need to come back into the office and revaccinate them. Some patients will have to get more than one shot, and that is not something any child will want to hear, but it is for their own good.

Hallie Gilmore’s daughter, Grace, is not on the list, but Hallie said she would go back if she had to because vaccines are an important part of a child’s health.

“Getting shots totally sucks,” Gilmore said. “No one likes needles. It’s a minor inconvenience. I think, overall, vaccines are a huge gift to society, and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back in to redo vaccines if I had to, but, like i said, babies don’t like them, but they are not going to remember them when they are older, so…”

The office has a new refrigerator that will send out a text alert if it malfunctions.