Lancet: Summary of Flu Vaccine Woes
Posted by Clark Venable on 10/17/2004
The Lancet: Vaccine preparedness, or not:
" "So, what went wrong at Chiron's production plant in Liverpool, UK? On Aug 26, according to Chiron, Serratia marcescens was found in a "small number of lots". The company informed health agencies in the UK and USA, and planned to delay release of the vaccine until early October while it tried to resolve the contamination issue. S marcescens is an important human pathogen because of the growing number of cases of infection by this organism, its virulence, and its increasing resistance to antibiotics. MHRA visited the Liverpool site, and Chiron thought it could address the concerns of the inspectors. The problem, says MHRA, is that the contaminated lots cannot be separated from the whole batch." "
" "There is a lesson here, about vaccine supply. It is not sensible to restrict manufacturing licences, in the case of influenza vaccine and especially in the USA, to two suppliers. At a blow, half this year's stocks were impounded. The risk (of faulty batches) should be spread across several manufacturers." "
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