FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Parents whose children got flu shots at a clinic in Fort Collins are being told their children should be tested for blood borne illnesses after an employee at the clinic mistakenly re-used syringes of medicine.

It’s serious enough that a physician at Med Peds Clinic says the medical assistant who was giving the flu vaccines was immediately fired after someone else in the office noticed that vaccine from the same plastic syringes was being given to two different children.

A letter to parents says the risk of a disease like hepatitis or HIV being transmitted is very low.

Elena Gjini is 11 months old and looks healthy as can be. But now her father, Orges Gjini, is worried sick after receiving the letter and a phone call from the Med Peds Clinic recommending that some of their youngest patients, including Elena, be tested.

“At 11 months, being put at risk for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, that’s something no parent should have to hear,” Orges said.

In the letter Med Peds says a medical assistant using prefilled syringes mistakenly gave children half a dose.

“She then removed the needle (using sterile procedure), replaced it with a new, unused, sterile needle and placed the syringes into a box labeled ‘second doses,'” the letter states.

The half-filled syringes were then used on some patients returning for their second flu vaccine. The clinic consulted state health officials and told parents “we have been assured that the risk of your child acquiring any infectious disease is very low.”

“It says it’s a very low risk, but any risk is too much,” Orges said.

“We are extremely dismayed by these events and are very sorry for any trouble or distress this may cause you,” the letter states.

“There is no way of calming down a parent by just saying that the risk is really low,” Orges said. “They’ve placed a child at a grave risk to where she may have contracted HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, but the risk is very low so don’t worry too much about it. It just doesn’t work that way.”

Now after getting her blood tested, Elena’s father is waiting for the results.

Comments (17)
  1. FAITH says:


  2. BW says:

    Anyone know why she administed only 1/2 a dose of the prefilled vaccine in the first place?

    1. Rad Mgr says:

      Children generally receive 2 doses of flu vaccine several weeks apart the first time they are receiving it, but each obviously should be from a fresh vial with a new syringe and needle!

  3. Ty says:

    Absolutely ignorant. Med assistant license should be pulled immediantly. If the health department doesn’t sanction this person, something is terribly wrong. Med assistant is working under an MD and they should be also! SFB med assistant!!!!

    1. John Q pharmacist says:

      Med assistants are not licensed.

  4. Lael04 says:

    Any idiot knows you NEVER reuse syringes. How did a trained “medical assistant” not know this?

    1. John Q Pharmacist says:

      Medical assistants are not licensed. There is ongoing controversy as to how whether they should be allowed to handle medication. This event will certainly set them back.

  5. tom says:

    Sue baby sue, when my kids, wife or I get a shot we have then open the packages in front of us so there is no mistake.

  6. Laura Brown says:

    Erica needs her head examined if she thinks that any parent whose kids were put at risk should “chill out”. If they were my little ones, I would be panicky too. Hey Erica, have you ever heard of HIV, AIDS or Hepatitis? Your ignorance is absolutely stunning.

  7. HR says:

    If you notice it says the syringes were tipped with new sterile needles. The flu vaccine is given intramusculary meaning that the needle goes directly into the muscle and nothing is sucked back into the syringe. No part of the body to include fluids would come into contact with the syringe or the medicine. Yes this is very messed up and I would be upset but I just wanted to add a little info.

    1. Nikki says:

      You are entirely incorrect in saying that ‘nothing is sucked into the syringe’. ANY subcutaneous or intramuscular injection should be aspirated prior to pushing the plunger to inject. This means the plunger should ALWAYS be pulled back on to make sure that the needle isn’t in a blood vessel. If your nurse/ doctors/ whatever isn’t doing this you risk possible serious injury.

  8. Nak says:

    I believe “Erica” put that comment on purpose to get a rise out of readers… I’m not going to fuel that Ribaldrous comment she/he left… My heart goes out to the at risk children & Yes! there should be a lawsuit should anything terrible come from this !!! SMH!

  9. George Jefferson says:


    You are quite possibly the most ignorant person I have heard of in a long while…. Please don’t complain when you come down with Hep B and need a liver transplant

  10. Roger says:

    The previous comment here is rediculous. If you are flipping burgers at McDonalds and make a mistake, sure you deserve another chance. When your negligence puts the lives of children at risk, it’s practically criminal. If you are not competent or responsible enough to perform this job, then please don’t work in a field that concerns public safety.

  11. Bill beneteau says:

    This was no accident this was pure and simple incompetence. This medical assistant should lose their certification, furthermore this may be considered a criminal offense~Many patients who contract blood-borne hepatitis C are asymptomatic for many years. The disease can cause lifelong problems, including long-term liver damage without the carriers’ knowledge and early symptoms like jaundice, nausea and fatigue. It is most often transmitted by sharing unclean needles and syringes.

  12. Erica Chamberlain says:

    accidents happen. that parent needs to chill out. probably looking for a reason to sue. give me a break. i don’t understand why companies and facilities can’t just stand up for their employees when stuff that this happens. they fired the employee who made the mistake? i don’t think that was necessary, but for the facility to save face they had to take such “drastic” measures to make it look good. what a joke–sell outs. if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. peace and love.

    1. Mark Killam says:

      erica, i have a question for you. do you randomly lick toilet seats, or eat gum from the sidewalks? looking at your comment, it appears obvious that such actions would seem perfectly normal for you. after all, there’s no more risk in sharing needles at any age than licking toilet seats, yeah? or, you have no children, and can’t understand the fear that a parent would experience having to face such a situation. then again, if you do have children, i’m sure that in your eyes, nothing will ever happen to them. because, they’re your kids, yeah?

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