Merck recalls a million doses of meningitis, pneumonia vaccine -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Merck recalls a million doses of meningitis, pneumonia vaccine

December 13, 2007
Kristen Dahlgren, NBC News

For millions of parents, it may seem like frightening news. Drug maker Merck recalling a million doses of a vaccine called Hib, a shot given to children under five to protect from meningitis and pneumonia.

But the Centers for Disease Control was quick to assure parents it was not a health crisis, just a precaution.

Merck voluntarily recalled the vaccines after the sterility of its Pennsylvania manufacturing plant came into question.

The company said it has not found any contamination in the vaccines and no child has shown symptoms.

Parents are being urged to watch for a rash or bumps near the injection site but after a week of no symptoms children are thought to be in the clear.

The questionable vaccines were shipped after April of this year and doctors are now being notified to return all their supplies, something the CDC says will cause some inconvenience but is not expected to put any children at risk.

Concerned parents are being urged to contact their doctors with any questions. Merck says none of its other medications were affected.  It is shutting down its production of the hib vaccine for the next nine months which may ultimately cause some shortages.          

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