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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
January 04, 2008

For Further Information Contact:
Thomas Slater
609-984-7160


 
DHSS, Ocean County Health Department Open Telephone Line To Answer Questions Regarding Toms River Pediatrician


 

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) have agreed to open a telephone information line for families who are patients of a Toms River physician who is being investigated by the Ocean County Prosecutorís Office.

Concerned parents can call a telephone information line established at the Ocean County Health Department at 732-341-9700, extension 7604.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office contacted the Department of Health and Senior Services on January 1, 2008, concerning the use of vaccines supplied to Dr. Romillo as a provider for the Vaccine For Children (VFC) Program.DHSS staff and the Ocean County Health Department are working together in consultation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to review patient charts to determine if the vaccines were used properly.

The federal VFC program provides vaccine for children through 18 years of age who do not have health insurance, are underinsured or are Medicaid/Family Care eligible.

Through coordination by the DHSS, the CDC and a national distributor, vaccine is distributed to enrolled state health care providers who participate in the VFC program.

Because of the potential misuse of VFC vaccine, DHSS has dis-enrolled Dr. Romillo as a VFC provider.

DHSS staff has reviewed health statistics in the community and there is no evidence of outbreaks or of increases in vaccine preventable diseases over the past several years. This indicates a high level of existing immunity in the community, which protects children who are not immunized or who may have received expired vaccine. In addition, there have been no reports of any unexpected adverse effects of vaccine use in this community.

Currently, DHSS and OCHD do not recommend that children get re-vaccinated until a more extensive and complete assessment of the problem is conducted.Once more information is available and assessed, DHSS and OCHD will consult with CDC to develop further guidance and recommendations.

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