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Friday, December 14, 2007

Consumer Alert: Children's Vaccine Recall

Merck is recalling 1 million doses of childhood vaccines usually administered to children under 5 years old. The vaccines concerned are:
  • PedvaxHIB

    protects against infection with haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), which causes meningitis, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections.


    protects against haemophilius B and hepatitis B, a virus that can cause liver disease.
The company stated the reason for pulling the vaccine is contamination. Neither vaccine is designed for use against the flu virus, therefore, upon your pediatrician's recommendation, it should be safe to continue having your children vaccinated against the flu. The article in Time magazine concerning this withdrawal included the following statement:
The manufacturing problem does not affect the strength or effectiveness of the vaccine. "It's important to understand that the recall has nothing to do with the potency of the vaccine," says CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "Children who received the vaccine are protected against haemophilus. There is no need to re-immunize."
See the CDC website for more information.

Of course, Bush's timing in vetoing SCHIP couldn't possibly have been more perfect.

If your child is due for a vaccination, verify the name of the vaccine and the illness against which it protects. Verify that your doctor has heard of the recall. Ensure that you know the symptoms of a possible bacterial infection that might result.

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