Children's swine flu vaccine in Ariz. recalled - East Valley Tribune: News

Children's swine flu vaccine in Ariz. recalled

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Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 9:30 am | Updated: 2:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Arizona has received nearly 24,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine for infants and toddlers that is being recalled, but a state health official said the vaccine poses no health safety issue.

Arizona has received nearly 24,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine for infants and toddlers that is being recalled, but a state health official said the vaccine poses no health safety issue.

Are you ready? H1N1-HQ

Gripes about swine flu vaccine abound

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that vaccine manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis has voluntarily recalled 800,000 doses of the pre-filled syringes meant for children ages 6 months to 3 years because they do not meet potency standards.

Arizona has received 23,800 doses of the vaccine, according to Arizona Department of Health Services. These would have been administered throughout the state, according to Karen Lewis, medical director of the state department’s Immunization Program.

“The good news is parents don’t have anything to worry about,” Lewis said. “The vaccine should work just fine and the children should be very well protected.”

Tom Schryer, Pinal County Public Health director, said that this particular vaccine formula and dosage are not among the vaccines distributed to Pinal County or to medical care providers in Pinal.

The only issue, Lewis explained, is that while there are no safety concerns, the company decided to recall the doses because it found out through testing that a predetermined level of an active ingredient in the vaccine was detected to have dropped below “their arbitrary standard” after they were shipped off.

“It was only a slight drop, but since it was not at a level the company would have originally sent it at, they decided to recall the doses sent in four lots,” Lewis said.

Lewis said parents whose kids falling in this category have received a vaccine don’t need to do anything, except to make sure they also get the booster shot, if they haven’t already. The two doses are recommended to be spaced a month apart.

According to Lewis, of the kids who only got one shot, only 25 percent are protected versus 95 percent of those who get a booster shot.

Mesa resident Mark Pond, 59, said he saw the headline about the recall Tuesday morning, but was immediately reassured because it didn’t affect his child, who is 7 years old.

“I saw the headline, it didn’t apply to us, and so it didn’t affect us, which was good,” Pond said.

Queen Creek resident Becky Norris, 34, said recall or not, she doesn’t plan to have her 9-month-old Brody get the H1N1 or the seasonal flu shot.

“I’m not real comfortable with flu shots anyway,” Norris said. She said she just tries to be cautious by making sure she and her family wash their hands and take basic hygiene precautions instead.

The CDC does not recommend kids who got the shots from the affected lots need to be revaccinated. The national health organization reported last week that Arizona is still among 14 states still reporting widespread flu activity, although that’s a decline of 11 states from last week.

As of Dec. 5, the state health department reported 131 deaths since April, of which six occurred in the week covering Nov. 29 and Dec 5.

Lewis still advises parents to get the H1N1 and seasonal flu shot, with the flu expected to circulate until April.

“It’s not too late to vaccinate,” Lewis said. “It may get slower and harder in the short run to find vaccines, but it’s still important.”

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