News release

Update on Physician Practice Issue

Public Health officials are calling parents of 27 children who received a flu shot from Dr. William Vitale in the fall of 2013 that may not have been effective.

As experts continue to examine Dr. Vitale's records, they believe he may, in some instances, have improperly mixed the seasonal flu vaccine with some routine childhood immunizations.

Children who received the seasonal flu vaccine from the Halifax pediatrician this season, combined with a routine vaccination, may not have proper immunity to the flu.

"We know that the seasonal or H1N1 flu is active in Canada now," said Dr. Robin Taylor, Medical Officer of Health for the Capital District Health Authority. "We also know that young children are especially vulnerable to the flu, so we're reaching out to parents to ensure their children are re-vaccinated quickly."

As the investigation continues, the scope of affected patients may change.

Capital Health is offering a re-vaccination clinic for patients of Dr. Vitale in the Halifax area who do not have a family physician. The clinic opened Wednesday, Jan. 8. So far, the clinic has received 137 calls from patients, and 57 appointments have been booked. To book an appointment at the clinic, call 902-481-5813.

Patients should not go to emergency rooms and walk-in clinics, because they are not designed to perform routine immunizations.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Public health officials are calling the parents of 27 children who got a flu shot from Dr. William Vitale at the same time as their regular vaccinations.

Officials have discovered he may have incorrectly mixed the 2013 flu vaccine with some routine childhood shots. The 27 children may not be properly vaccinated against the flu, which can make people seriously ill.

Capital Health has opened a re-vaccination clinic for Dr. Vitale's patients. Call 902-481-5813 to book an appointment.

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Media Contacts:

John Gillis
Capital District Health Authority Cell: 902-220-1419 Pager: 902-458-5376 E-mail:
Tony Kiritsis
Health and Wellness 902-424-0585 E-mail: