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Recalled swine flu vaccine for children poses no danger

WASHINGTON — About 800,000 doses of swine flu vaccine for children are being recalled because tests found the strength of the shots had dropped, officials announced Tuesday.

The recall was being done as a precaution and not because the vaccine poses any safety threat, officials said. Children who already received the vaccine are believed to have gotten full protection, officials said.

"This is a non-safety-related recall," said Anne Schuchat, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "There are not any implications for parents and the public. But we are providing a heads-up to providers about this."

The affected vaccine was produced by Sanofi Pasteur and included only pre-filled syringes containing 0.25 milliliters for children 6 to 35 months old.

No similar problems have been found for other lots or formulations, including the nasal spray, single-syringe doses for older children or multidose vials for children and adults.

The Tampa Bay region appeared little affected by the recall.

Hillsborough County had just received last week 200 pre-filled syringes from the batch being recalled. Fewer than 10 of the shots had been administered, said Ryan Pedigo, director for public health preparedness at the Hillsborough County Health Department.

Pinellas County did not receive any of the recalled vaccines.

The Pasco County Health Department received about 300 doses late last week. Pasco health officials were looking into whether any was administered.

Public health officials are able to track the vaccines through their lot numbers. Florida received about 40,000 of the recalled doses, according to state health officials.

The cause of the potency drop is being investigated, Schuchat said.

Times staff contributed to this report.

Recalled swine flu vaccine for children poses no danger 12/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:37pm]
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