Some swine flu vaccine recalled in N.C.

Posted December 15, 2009
Updated December 16, 2009

— Hundreds of thousands of swine flu shots for children have been recalled because tests indicate the vaccine doses lost some strength, government health officials said Tuesday.

CDC: H1N1 vaccine lost effectiveness in transit

The recall is for about 800,000 pre-filled syringes intended for young children, ages 6 months to nearly 3 years. The shots, made by Sanofi Pasteur, were distributed across the country last month and most have already been used, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors were notified of the voluntary recall on Tuesday. Dr. Anne Schuchat, a CDC flu expert, stressed that parents don’t need to do anything or to worry. The vaccine is still safe, she said.

Almost 18,000 doses of the recalled vaccine were distributed in North Carolina, said Amy Caruso, spokeswoman for the Immunization Branch of the state Department of Health and Human Services. Officials were contacting 132 health care providers statewide who received the vaccine from the batches being recalled, she said.

None of the vaccine administered at Wake County-sponsored immunization clinics was part of the recall, county spokeswoman Sarah Williamson said. Six private physician practices in the county did receive the recalled Sanofi Pasteur pre-filled syringes, however.

"All of these children already need to receive two vaccinations to get the full series, and as long as they get the two vaccinations, they should be fine. They don't need any additional vaccination, and they're perfectly safe," State Epidemiologist Megan Davies said. "This vaccine is a safe vaccine. It's just not strong enough."

The issue is the vaccine’s strength. Tests done before the shots were shipped showed that the vaccines were strong enough. But tests done weeks later indicated the strength had fallen slightly below required levels. Why the potency dropped isn’t clear.

Children in that age group are supposed to get two doses, spaced about a month apart. Health officials don’t think children need to get vaccinated again, even if they got two doses from the same lots, said Schuchat.

North Carolina has received sufficient vaccine to meet the needs of the affected age group, as well as the general population, officials said, encouraging people to get immunized against H1N1.

Swine flu vaccine has been available since early October, and since then manufacturers have released about 95 million doses for distribution in the United States.

The recalled shots were made by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of France-based Sanofi-Aventis Group. The company reported the potency findings to the government officials and did a voluntary recall. A Sanofi Pasteur representative could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Sanofi Pasteur bills itself as the No. 1 manufacturer of flu vaccines in the world. It makes flu vaccine at sites in France and in Pennsylvania.


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  • wattsun Dec 16, 2009

    There are good Some Doctors out there that can think outside the box.

  • wattsun Dec 16, 2009

    patriotsrevenge No
    Whats amazing is how easy the public bought into this scam.
    The seasonal flu will kill more people each year than H1N1 has.
    Do a little research for yourself instead of being SPOONFED by the MSM.
    Look at the whole picture from top to bottom and see who profits off this outbreak
    Also ask the question how did the phramys have ability to see into the future and patent H1N1 vaccine 2 years before this PANDEMIC?

  • patriotsrevenge Dec 15, 2009

    It's amazing how people like "wattsun" are willing to bet YOUR life to prove their little tin foil hat club conspiracy theory. This flu is dangerous, if you don't believe me, ask your doctor, then protect your family by getting the vaccine.

  • coolwill43 Dec 15, 2009

    Do you remember when people were trying to get Obama to close the border, he said that the barn door was already open, and that is when Mexico was we just started seeing it in the US. Over a thousand people in the US have died from H1N1. Your health plan is waiting.

  • JoeFreedom Dec 15, 2009


    "Well, no worries here, didnt get a vacc, nor did my kids."

    So you're not worried because you didn't get a vaccine that did not retain its full potency? Meanwhile, you and your children aren't protected at all (unlike the people who are at least partially protected from this recalled vaccine). I'm missing the logic here.

  • JennyT Dec 15, 2009

    Blame the Vs, they put it in the flu vaccine!


  • wattsun Dec 15, 2009

    OK Where are ALL the PRO VACCINE GOLER's who said I was crazy for trying to warn the public about putting this GARBAGE into your bodies!!!!!!!
    Not potent enough? REALLY this is the new scam they are selling? WRAL DIG DEEP AND FIND OUT Why they are really recalling the vaccine??

  • hywilson Dec 15, 2009

    Why am I not surprised? Well, no worries here, didnt get a vacc, nor did my kids. I do agree however that this pharm co. should be handed some fines. They prob mass produced this vacc just to make $$$. Probably didnt even test it.

  • JoeFreedom Dec 15, 2009

    Man...I thought I was paranoid. You guys are impressing me. I deal with my paranoia by doing my own comprehensive research. When it came to H1N1 vaccine I had the same fears. I read the negative papers (and was most concerned about adjuvants), but all H1N1 vaccine to date used in the US has been adjuvant free, and the rest of the vaccine make up is like the one that is manufactured for seasonal flue. I'm guessing that doesn't impress you folks though. I'm sure you think the seasonal flu is a scam as well. Most people I know say they don't get the flu shot because they don't ever get the flu. I've got a secret for you. One day you will (based on statistics) and when you do it is going to suck, and hopefully (and likely) won't put in the the hospital. The flu shot shot is great for paranoids. It is defense against the unknown with very little risk. Even better, if you do get vaccinated, you might save the life of some infant or elderly person by not spreading it to them unknowingly.

  • NCPACKER Dec 15, 2009

    The reason why i did NOT get this shot.