Northern Ireland

Omagh Academy school: Wrong vaccine given to 95 pupils

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Media caption95 pupils at Omagh Academy received a pre-school vaccine in place of the adolescent vaccine

The Western Trust has issued an unreserved apology after 95 pupils from a post primary school in Omagh, County Tyrone were given the wrong vaccine.

The year eleven pupils from Omagh Academy received a pre-school vaccine on 12 January instead of the adolescent vaccine.

In this age group the vaccine can cause more local reactions like redness, soreness and a high temperature.

The trust is investigating how the mistake happened.

'Error'

Omagh Academy school principal Keith Hill said they were aware of the error and that the appropriate steps had been taken.

"The Western Trust advised that its public health department would write to parents immediately to make them aware of this incident, explain the implications and offer reassurance.

"An investigation by the Western Trust into the error is underway and the school is liaising with a representative of the Trust regarding the outcome."

Mr Hill said the Western education and library board has sought a report from the Trust on the circumstances of the incident as well as a reassurance that steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence.

'Not do any harm'

A spokesperson for the Trust described it as an error that should not have happened, but said that there would be no serious or long lasting effects.

"The vaccine given to the pupils protects against whooping cough, but the vaccine the pupils should have been administered does not. This will not do any harm at all.

"In this country we don't normally vaccinate teenagers against whooping cough because it isn't usually a serious disease in this age group. However, it is perfectly safe to give it to teenagers and some other countries do.

"The Trust takes this incident very seriously and has instigated an investigation into this error and will be taking forward all lessons learnt as a priority."

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