World & Nation

Children at detention center given adult doses of hepatitis A vaccine

Detention center
The South Texas Family Residential Center is the largest of the nation’s three immigration detention centers for families, housing up to 2,400.
(Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Los Angeles Times)

An adult dose of a hepatitis A vaccine was given to about 250 immigrant children at a Texan detention facility, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

As of Saturday, no adverse reactions had been reported, said Richard Rocha, an ICE spokesman, in an email. While significant adverse reactions were not expected, healthcare professionals said they would monitor children for any side effects in the next five days.

“Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professional about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages,” said ICE in a statement.

Officials with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs are investigating the mishap at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.


Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease that can be spread to people who have not been vaccinated against the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine is very safe, although side effects have been reported, the center said.

About 100 people in the U.S. die each year from liver failure caused by hepatitis A, the Center also noted.

A spokesman for the detention center in Dilley could not be reached for comment Saturday.

The facility in Dilley is one of three detention centers holding immigrant mothers and children who entered the country illegally. Immigrant rights activists and Democratic members of Congress have been calling on Homeland Security to close the centers, alleging that they provide substandard service and are no place for children.


Twitter: @natalieschachar

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