Flu vaccine and needle. Courtesy County News Center

More than 1,500 area veterans should begin learning next week whether they received an influenza vaccine rendered possibly ineffective by a refrigerator operating improperly, a Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System spokesman said Friday.

VA officials said they learned of the problem last week when a routine inspection found that the refrigerator failed to keep stored vaccine within the recommended temperature range of 36 to 46 degrees. Keeping the vaccine outside that range could make it ineffective, but not harmful, according to the VA.

The federal agency estimated that 1,525 veterans and 313 employees may have received the compromised vaccine between Oct. 10 and Oct. 13, Christopher Menzie of the VA told City News Service.

He said letters to the affected recipients of the vaccine will be sent early next week. They’ll be asked to come back to get another shot.

Menzie said the VA has also modified procedures to ensure prompt and appropriate action in the future.

—City News Service