Immigrant Children At Texas Facility Given Adult Dose Of Hepatitis A Vaccine | KERA News

Immigrant Children At Texas Facility Given Adult Dose Of Hepatitis A Vaccine

Jul 6, 2015

Authorities say about 250 immigrant children were given an adult dose of a Hepatitis A vaccine at a Texas detention facility where they are being held with their mothers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs spokesman Richard Rocha said last week that health care professionals would monitor the children over five days for any potential side effects, though no adverse reactions are expected from the incorrect dose.

Rocha says ICE and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs is investigating how the mix-up at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley occurred and how such mistakes can be avoided in the future.

“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.

As of Wednesday, the center about 70 miles southwest of San Antonio held about 2,000 women and children. Most are from Central America and entered the U.S. via Mexico.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hepatitis A virus can cause liver infection and is usually transmitted among individuals and through the consumption of contaminated food or water.

Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which has provided pro-bono legal services to the women and children in the detention facilities, said in a statement that volunteers “have long noted disturbing patterns of what appears to be inadequate health care.”

“This latest permutation is beyond appalling,” Williams said in the statement.

But ICE has previously said that the health care professionals at the centers provide quality medical care and that the agency takes “very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care.”