Large amount of H1N1 vaccine recalled

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Roughly two months after the release of the H1N1 vaccine, the Center For Disease Control has recalled 800-thousand pre-filled injectable shots manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.  The shots are those specifically designated for children 6 to 35 months old.

"The reason for the recall is not as a safety concern. That's the most important message," Alabama State Health Officer Don Williamson said Tuesday.  He says the recall comes because the agent in the vaccine that produces the immune response to the virus is not as potent as was desired.  Yet, he stresses there are no risks of any increased side effects as a result.  "But the reason you recall it is because there are extraordinary strict manufacturing standards that vaccine manufacturers have to adhere to"
Williams says Alabama got 52-hundred doses of the recalled shots.  Over half of them never left the warehouse.  Officials say about 41 children actually received the shots.  The remaining doses will be sent back.  Some Birmingham doctors say they had been leery of the vaccine from the beginning.

Dr. Jacqueline W. Stewart of Magnolia Pediatrics says she understands the reason for the recall but is concerned it could have gone the other way.  "So it could have been too potent. Or not potent enough and what else is going on with it?" Stewart questioned.  "What's the real reason for the recall?"

Williamson says the fact that the mistake was caught shows how safe the vaccine is. "I would say the vaccine is far more widely available," he said.  "I encourage parents to get your child vaccinated."  If you have any questions on whether your child received the recalled vaccine, it's best to call your pediatrician.