Approximately 250 children at a Texas detention center were given an adult dosage of the hepatitis A vaccine, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said. No adverse side effects to the dosage have been reported, however the children are being monitored by healthcare professionals at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professional about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages,” ICE said in a statement. Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease that spreads to people who aren’t vaccinated.
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease that can spread to people who are not vaccinated against the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine is safe, though side effects have been reported in the past, the center said.
About 100 people in the U.S. die annually from liver failure caused by hepatitis A, the Center also noted.
A spokesman for the detention center in Dilley could not be reached for comment Saturday.
The facility in Dilley is one of three detention centers holding immigrant mothers and children who entered the United States illegally.
ICE and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs are investigating how the mix-up took place and how such incidences can be avoided in the future, ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said.
Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said the children likely received double the pediatric dosage of the vaccine. He said they should continued to be monitored, though it is unlikely any will see short- or long-term complications.
Activists and Democratic politicians alike have called on Homeland Security to close detention centers, citing they are not safe for children. They allege that they provide substance service and are no place for children.