Merck HIB Vaccine Recall Attorneys
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The HIB vaccine protects children from the haemophilus influenza type b bacterium, which can cause epiglottitis (a potentially fatal infection and swelling of the throat that makes it difficult to breathe), bacterial meningitis (a potentially fatal inflammation of the thin, membranous covering of the spinal cord and the brain), and a serious form of pneumonia.
Thanks to the vaccine, the number of HIB cases in children under five dropped by more than 98 percent from the late 1980s, when the vaccine was approved, to 2003. And most cases that continue to occur are in children who have not been immunized.
Despite these astonishing results, the validity of child immunizations continues to be debated. And proponents of these vaccinations are not helped when parents who choose to vaccinate their children are faced with a vaccine recall.
Yet this is precisely what happened when, on December 11, 2007 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of one million doses of Merck & Co.'s PedvaxHib and COMVAX vaccines that were distributed beginning in April 2007. A list of the lots that are being recalled can be found at http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/hib121307.html.
The recall is being taken as a precautionary measure because Merck cannot assure sterility for the listed lots. In routine testing of the manufacturing equipment used to produce the vaccines, Merck found the presence of bacterial contamination.
And, while the potential for contamination of an individual dose administered is low, there could be a risk to children who were immunized of developing localized or disseminated infections. Immunocompromised children may be at higher risk for these infections, which are most likely to occur within a week after the vaccination.
Parents of children recently vaccinated should watch for redness or swelling at the injection site, or other signs of infection. If any such reactions occur, they should contact their pediatrician or health care provider. In any case, since no concerns have been identified with regards to efficacy, vaccinated children do not need to be revaccinated.
The recall, however, did cause a temporary shortage of the HIB vaccine and, as of this writing, the CDC was recommending that temporarily only high-risk children, such as those with leukemia, sickle cell disease, HIV, certain other immunocompromising conditions, American Indian, native Alaskan, and children with asplenia, be administered the HIB booster routinely given at age 12 to 15 months.
The HIB vaccine, as well as other vaccines scheduled for the “well-child” visit, should still be given. For updated CDC recommendations, please visit http://www.fda.gov/cber/recalls/merckhib121107.htm
Contact PersonalInjury.com today to find an experienced vaccine recall lawyer near you.