Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

Children at detention center given adult doses of hepatitis A vaccine

Jul 06, 2015 06:06 PM EDT


In what could be considered as a shock to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 250 immigrant children were accidentally given adult dose of a hepatitis A vaccine at a Texan detention center, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed. The  children, nevertheless, did not show signs of any adverse reactions, Richard Rocha, an ICE spokesman, said in an email. Health officials continue to keep their eyes on the children for possibilities of side effects within the week.

"Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professional about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages," a statement from the ICE said.

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs are already helping the ICE find out what went wrong at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas and why were the children unintentionally injected with the vaccine.

Immigrant mothers and children who made their way to the U.S. illegally are temporarily detained in Dilley and in two other detention centers. However, according to immigration rights activists and Democratic members of Congress, the facilities provide substandard services and are not child-friendly, thus, calling for their shut down.

Hepatitis A, a chronic liver disease, is widespread in the U.S., affecting 15,000 people and killing around 100 lives every year. The chances of recurring symptoms are high for up to nine months after getting proclaimed hepatitis-free. Getting vaccinated against the virus protects an individual from getting infected, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  While generally safe, those who take the vaccine are more likely to manifest the side effects. The detention center spokesperson, however, could not be reached for comment as of Saturday. 

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