December 15, 2009—800,000 pre-filled syringes of swine flu shots for children have been voluntarily recalled because tests indicate that the vaccine doses lost some strength, according to government health officials.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recall involves shots that were intended for young children, ages 6 months to almost 3 years. The shots, made by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the French company Sanofi-Aventis Group, were distributed across the country in November and most have already been used.
Doctors were notified of the recall today. The vaccine is still safe, according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, a CDC flu expert. The issue is with the vaccine’s strength. Tests done on the shots before they shipped indicated that they were strong enough; however, tests done weeks later showed that their strength had fallen slightly below required levels.
Children in the affected age group are supposed to get two doses about a month apart. Health officials don’t think children need to get vaccinated again, even if they got two doses from the same lot, according to Schuchat.
Swine flu vaccine has been available since October, and manufacturers have released around 95 million doses for distribution in the United States.