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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: _____, 2007
Contact: __________
_____ County Health Department
(Phone)

National Recall of Hib Vaccine Not a Serious Threat to Children

This week, Merck © & Co. announced the national recall of 1.2 million doses of the vaccine Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) as a precautionary measure due to manufacturing conditions that could have allowed contamination to occur. The ____ County Health Department is working closely with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to inform healthcare providers to pull the recalled vaccine off the shelf.

The recall affects the Hib vaccine that protects against meningitis, pneumonia and other serious infections caused by the Hib bacteria. The vaccine is usually administered in a three dose series to children at 2, 4 and 12-15 months of age. A combined Hib and Hepatitis B vaccine is also included in this recall.

Oklahoma has about 5,300 doses of recalled vaccine in 184 medical clinic locations. OSDH Immunization Service staff are calling those providers and have issued an electronic message through the Health Alert Network (HAN), which is used to communicate regularly with healthcare providers statewide.

“More than 4,600 doses have been administered statewide since April with no increase in adverse affects reported to the OSDH.  Children who received this vaccine will not need to have doses repeated,” said ___ County Health Department Administrator __________. “ I want to emphasize that testing of samples from the recalled lots of vaccine have not found any contamination and the potential of contamination of any individual dose of Hib vaccine is very low,” ______ said.

If parents still have concerns, they are advised to discuss the Hib vaccine with their health care provider or the ________Health Department.

Parents of children recently vaccinated with recalled vaccine should watch for any signs of infection such as redness and swelling at the injection site and contact their providers if such reaction occurs. Any problems with the vaccine would be expected to occur within one week of vaccination.

Prior to widespread use of the Hib vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children less than five years old. In 2006, about 94 percent of American children 19-35 months old were vaccinated against Hib.

“This has resulted in a dramatic decline in transmission of the Hib bacteria. However, it has not gone away, so it is important to continue vaccinating children against Hib”, said _______.

Oklahoma health care providers currently have about 20,000 doses of unaffected PedvaHIB, ACTHIB or Comvax in their inventories that they can continue to administer.

 For additional information, a parent or caregiver should contact their local physician or healthcare provider.  Questions and answers about the recall may also be found on the CDC Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/.   

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