Health protocols not followed at Norquest College flu clinic
Clinic visitors say they remain nervous after incident, would have liked to be better informed
NorQuest College says four people received flu shots Tuesday "without all health protocols being followed."
The breach occurred at the downtown Edmonton campus during a flu shot clinic held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Alberta Health Services says a third-party delivering the immunizations, later identified as Alberta Pharmacy Services, improperly handled a multi-dose vial of the vaccine, raising concern a patient’s blood may have been mixed in and shared with three other people.
On Wednesday afternoon, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. James Talbot said it was a supervised pharmacy student who was administering the shot in question.
When the problem was identified, the clinic was shut down while the lead pharmacist removed all the materials and health officials were called in.
Risk to patients was low, says AHS
In a written statement, the college says AHS has identified the health risks associated with this breach as very low.
However, some at the school remain nervous, and say they have not received enough information about the incident.
“It's pretty scary,” said Rosslynd Fayant, who was actually in line to receive the flu shot when the clinic shut down.
“You're supposed to trust the nurses that come to your school and want to give you the flu shot. It's their job to make you feel safe but you don't feel safe after hearing stuff like this.”
Now, Fayant said she is unsure whether she will return later on to get her flu shot.
“I really don’t want to get one now’ but if I do I'll go to my doctor. It's scary cause you're lined up and ready to go and if I'd got it, I'd be freaked out more now after hearing all this.”
AHS is investigating and managing the follow-up care with everyone involved.
All of the affected patients have been tested and show no signs of infectious disease. The health authority isn't releasing any more information in order to respect patient confidentiality.
Norquest College says if anyone has questions after getting a flu shot at the clinic yesterday, they should call Health Link Alberta.