Vaccine Recall Could Cause Supply Shortage For East Texas Doctors - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/13/07- East Texas

Vaccine Recall Could Cause Supply Shortage For East Texas Doctors

The voluntary recall comes from Merck's Pennsylvania plant, where testing showed possible contamination in the childhood vaccine HIB. The HIB vaccine is a required one, usually given to babies between 2 to 15 months old. Pediatricians said it protects against meningitis, pneumonia, ear and sinus infections. Merck has now recalled more than one million doses, but only as a precautionary measure.

"The thing for parents to remember is that there is a checks and balances system in place and it worked," said Michael Austin, Pediatrician at ETMC in Tyler. 

Doctor Austin said the good news is that East Texas clinics get their HIB vaccines from a different supplier. The bad news is that this recall could possibly cause a strain on future supplies.

"The withdrawal of the Merck product may affect the ability of the other manufacturer to be able to produce enough vaccine to make up for the deficit.  So, it's possible we may have a shortage of the HIB vaccine in the future."

As for right now, pediatricians said East Texas children who've had this vaccine should be fine, unless there are other symptoms.

"If there's no abscess on your child's leg, if there's no redness, warmth, tenderness, or swelling in that site, then there's no reason to be concerned at all."

Pediatricians want to stress the importance of children getting these vaccinations, which have significantly reduced the spread of infections and diseases.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  

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