Typhoid vaccine recalled
Residents immunised against Typhoid by the Department of Health in the past year may have to get a second shot.
The department yesterday announced that pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur had recalled batches of the vaccine administered here between July 2011 and September 2012.
Persons vaccinated during that time are not at risk for any ill effects, a Government spokeswoman said.
The recall action is being taken to assure that only the most effective vaccines are in circulation in countries, and so that individuals visiting areas at high risk of Typhoid contamination pay extra attention to food and water hygiene to avoid contact with the bacterium.
The Department of Health advises that if you will be travelling to an area of the world with poor sanitation, you should take special care to follow the hygiene precautions you would have been provided at the time of your immunisation.
The spokeswoman continued: Sanofi Pasteur issued the recall after quality control testing indicated a lower concentration of the antigen component, and therefore lower efficacy of the affected batches.
Distribution centres in France, the US and Canada have been asked to stop shipment and countries administering the vaccine have been asked to halt use of the identified stock.
Typhoid fever is spread most commonly by consuming unclean water or food.
Regular hand washing, attention to food and beverage quality, and vaccination with Typhoid vaccine are the best protections from Typhoid fever for international travellers, the health spokeswoman advised.
Ordinarily the Typhoid vaccine confers protection from the bacterial infection for three years.
It is likely that the affected vaccine protection is less than this period.
The impact of the recall of Typhoid vaccine is that supplies will be diminished for the next several months and immunisation programs will need to prioritise use of the remaining supplies which are not affected by the recall.
Priority for Typhoid vaccination will be given to those travelling to areas at greatest risk for Typhoid fever outbreaks.
Useful website: www.cdc.gov.
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