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Vaccines: Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to the vaccine doses?

After we discovered a refrigerator at one of our locations not functioning effectively, we proactively audited all of our primary care locations that provide vaccines. Ten sites (Plainville, Vernon, Montville, Colchester, Duncaster, Meriden, Norwichtown, Norwich-West Side, Manchester and Wallingford) administered some vaccine doses or tuberculosis tests that may not have been stored in accordance with the manufactures’ recommended temperature guidelines, which may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines. This is approximately 1 percent of all vaccines administered by Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.

How many patients are affected?

We have determined that 975 potentially less than effective doses were given to 953 patients. We are reaching out to each of these patients.

What kinds of vaccine are involved?

The majority of vaccines in question were influenza (Flu), a combined vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and Tuberculin skin tests (PPDs).

How did this happen?

We have determined that temperature variations occurred in the high and low ranges. We have taken steps to assure that all vaccines are properly monitored and effective.

Are there tests to determine if I am protected?

The CDC recommends revaccination as the appropriate course of action.

Why should I get revaccinated?

Some vaccinations offer long-term protection against common infections. The Flu vaccination is an important preventative tool and can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations, including among children and older adults. Tdap protects against bacterial infections (lockjaw, Diphtheria and whooping cough), illnesses that when vaccinated can be protected against.

Is it possible for someone to receive too much vaccine?

No, as we age, travel, or have exposure, we commonly receive booster shots. For Flu vaccinations, we need to receive the shot yearly throughout our lives to be protected.  With revaccination or boosters, there may be increased local reactions at the site of injection, similar to what we would experience as adults when we get booster shots. The protective benefits of vaccination outweigh any small risks.

Should I get re-vaccination for “flu”?

Yes. According to the CDC, flu activity in Connecticut is increasingly being reported by hospitals, providers and laboratory surveillance. Being vaccinated can prevent you from getting sick, can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations, and may make your illness milder if you do get sick.

May I be compensated for the inconvenience or the trouble this has caused me?

You will not be charged for any revisits or vaccinations. While there will not be extra compensation, if you cannot come into our office, we will arrange for a home health nurse to come to your home to administer the vaccine.

What steps have been taken to help ensure this does not happen again?

  • On site re-education of staff at all sites
  • Daily temperature log recording and reporting
  • Monthly review of temperature logs
  • Periodic on-site vaccine storage audits
  • Ongoing standardization and placement of digital temperature data recorders at all sites without them
  • Researching new technology for central monitoring system with real time alerts for all sites.

Download these FAQs

Vaccine Help Line

  • For more information or to make an appointment for a second vaccination, patients can call

    877.707.4442