Around 250 immigrant children were given an adult dose of vaccine of hepatitis A at a Texas detention facility where they were being held with their mothers, as per U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
The vaccines were administered this week, but none of the children has been hospitalized or had any adverse reactions, ICE officials said Saturday
ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said health care professionals will monitor the children over the next five days for any potential side effects, though none are expected.
“Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professionals about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages,” Rocha said in a statement.
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the hepatitis A virus can be the cause of liver infection and is usually transmitted among individuals and through the consumption of contaminated food or water.
According to Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the children probably received twice the pediatric dosage of the vaccine. He said that they should continue to be monitored, although what will be the short or long-term complications faced by the children is not likely to happen.
“I’m guessing there will not be significant effects,” he said. “If anything, you may get a higher immune response.”
ICE and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs are investigating how the mix-up at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley took place and the way in which such mistakes can be avoided in the future, Rocha said.
As of earlier in this week, the center which is around 70 miles southwest of San Antonio held around 2,000 women and children, a majority of whom are from Central American and who entered US from Mexico seeking asylum.
The second family detention center is in Karnes City which held around 400 people while the third is a smaller facilit in Berks County, Pennsylvania.