LESSONS must be learnt after Widnes children were given double the correct dose of the swine flu jab in a medical blunder, say health experts.

An investigation into how 59 children under the age of five were given adult swine flu vaccines by mistake has been published today.

Lapsed training, out of date documentation, failure to comply with established policies, confusion and a lack of organisation has been blamed for the error.

Anxious parents feared their children’s health may be at risk after the error was discovered at the Health Care Resource Centre in Caldwell Road, Widnes, on January 26, 2010.

Steve Cox, medical director of Halton and St Helens Primary Care Trust, said: “The PCT has taken this matter extremely seriously and I would like to assure parents that the investigation process has been undertaken at the highest level in the organisation.

“We are aware that the incident caused distress to parents and children involved and we would again like to offer our sincere apologies for this.

“It has been a very difficult time for all involved and I hope the outcome of the investigation provides parents with the answer as to how and why the incident occurred and assurance that actions have been taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

No significant clinical harm was identified following the vaccine blunder although the investigation discovered that some children suffered “reactions that may have been more clinically severe than expected due to the higher than recommended dose adminstered to the children”.

The children were given an adult dose, 0.5ml, of Pandemrix vaccine, instead of the child dose of 0.25ml.

Side effects included headache, fever, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, hardening of the skin, swelling, pain and redness at the injection site.

Parents of the children affected have been sent copies of the report which outlines recomendations to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again.