Southern Arizona | Investigating 4 You

N4T Investigators: Vaccine Fail?

TUCSON – Immunizations are supposed to keep our children safe, but an alarming number of children in the United States are not getting all, or even some of their recommended vaccines.

For one Tucson mother, the decision to vaccinate her baby daughter turned into a nightmare.

“As a parent, like I’m thinking I’m doing the right thing for my kids, and you know, I just lost all the confidence I had in my healthcare provider,” Erica Baca told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

Baca spends a lot of time thinking about the health and safety of her three children, including her ten-month old daughter, Bella.

It’s why Baca was in shock when she learned there was a problem with Bella’s two, four, and six-month vaccinations.

“It’s just awful,” Baca told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

A refrigerator issue at the Banner North Hills clinic was discovered last October, where according to Banner University Medical Group, some of the vaccines may have been temporarily stored at temperatures outside the required range.

Baca’s pediatrician told her the issue dated back to last March.

“They’re supposed to help you, you know, raise healthy kids, and take care of your kids, but when something like this happens it’s just like  kind of like a slap in the face,” Baca told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators obtained a copy of a letter from Banner University Medical Group, notifying parents Banner could not guarantee the vaccines they administered are fully effective, and Banner recommended children be re-vaccinated.

“There’s like, just lack of care. No concern. It’s kind of like – OK, it’s fine, revaccinate your kids, and it’s all good. but, really is it? I don’t know,” Baca said.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators wanted to know how many children were affect by the vaccine issue, and what was being done to prevent it from happening again?

In a e-mailed statement to the News 4 Tucson Investigators, a Banner spokesperson told us approximately 1,000 patients were affected, and went on to say:

“Late last year we became aware that a refrigerator in Banner’s North Hills clinic in Tucson experienced several, brief temperature fluctuations that may have affected the efficacy of vaccines stored in it.

We have no evidence of illnesses related to this issue, but out of an abundance of caution we are recommending that patients who were administered vaccines stored in this fridge return to the clinic for re-vaccination.

The first vaccine was not harmful, and there are no additional risks associated with receiving the vaccine a second time. We are in the process of notifying these patients and scheduling their re-vaccinations free of charge.

We have corrected the issue with the affected refrigerator and conducted a review of similar storage units throughout the facility.”

If you have a story you would like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call the News 4 Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.

 

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Edward R. Murrow Award winning broadcast journalist and Investigative Producer with the News 4 Tucson Investigators. Paul is a Tucson native, UA graduate, and licensed private investigator.
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