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DH investigates vaccines stored outside recommended temperature range in Lung Hing Tong Clinic
     The Department of Health (DH) today (January 26) reported that a medical clinic registered under the Medical Clinics Ordinance (Cap 343), the Lung Hing Tong Clinic in Medical Clinic, G/F, 94 Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, has been instructed to suspend using the vaccines stored in its refrigerator and inform its patients who have received the vaccines that might have been stored outside the recommended temperature range since mid-September 2017.

     "Our routine inspection of the above clinic earlier revealed that temperature recordings from September 2017 to January 2018 of a refrigerator used for medicine storage had been, on more than 30 days, outside the recommended range (i.e. 2 to 8 degrees Celsius). The lowest temperature recorded was 0.1 degrees C. The highest temperature recorded was 9 degrees C," a spokesman for the DH said.

     The DH commenced investigations immediately. Investigations showed that the hepatitis B vaccines and influenza vaccines might have been exposed to abnormal temperatures and administered to the clinic's patients since mid-September 2017. It was estimated that about 100 patients have received the possibly affected vaccines.

     As follow-up measures, the above clinic has been instructed to:
1) suspend administering the remaining vaccines stored in the refrigerator;
2) inform patients who have received the affected vaccines since mid-September 2017 for appropriate follow-up management;
3) consult the manufacturer on the efficacy of the vaccines concerned; and
4) conduct thorough investigations into the incident and institute appropriate remedial measures.

     The DH's Code of Practice For Clinics Registered Under The Medical Clinics Ordinance (Cap 343) sets out the standards of good practice and covers various aspects of drug storage and dispensing. Medicines, including vaccines, shall be stored appropriately, and a refrigerator, where applicable, shall be available to store medicines in an appropriate temperature range.

     "So far, no adverse reports related to the affected vaccines have been received. We attach great importance to the quality of private healthcare services and patient safety. Healthcare providers are urged to ensure effective cold chain management measures are in place to assure the efficacy of temperature-sensitive medicines including vaccines," the spokesman said.

     The Lung Hing Tong Clinic is contacting affected patients and has set up a hotline (2381 6712) for public enquiries on the incident.

     "Clients should call the above hotline or consult healthcare professionals if in doubt or feeling unwell upon vaccination in the above clinic. We will continue to closely monitor the clinic's follow-up actions," the spokesman said.
Ends/Friday, January 26, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:25
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