1,500 Bay Area children need to be re-vaccinated

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- More than 1,500 Bay Area children need to be re-vaccinated after a refrigerator malfunction happened at a peninsula health office. Now, doctors are moving quickly to notify parents.

There is now a new refrigerator to store 10 different kinds of vaccinations inside the Stanford Children's Health office in San Mateo. The old one was running too cold.

Medical Director Dr. Andrew Smith said, "Some of the vaccines were frozen intermittently, which can reduce the efficacy."

Smith says an employee noticed the issue on Sept. 21. An internal investigation revealed the problem dated back to January with missing temperature logs or below freezing temperatures not brought to anyone's attention.

Smith explained, "The individuals that noted the temperatures obviously didn't appreciate the importance of having too cold of a temperature."

With whooping cough, polio, meningitis and more vaccinations potentially ineffective, the office is mailing letters to 1,551 families urging them to have their children re-vaccinated at their office for free.

"That would be a tough letter to open up for sure," parent Patrick Leland said.

Parents we spoke with do not take their children to the particular San Mateo medical office, but sympathized with parents who do.

"I would think that those parents have a lot of thinking to do you know about whether or not they're going to continue to go there," parent Mary McCafferty said.

A similar faulty refrigerator incident occurred in May when the Palo Alto Medical Foundation notified 4,000 patients' families that patients would need to be re-vaccinated.

Smith says staff waited to notify families because they wanted to make sure they contacted the correct ones.

Click here to read the full letter from Stanford Children's Health
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