County health officials comment on recalled H1N1 vaccine

San Juan County health officials say local residents need not be concerned about the recall of several lots of H1N1 vaccine announced Tuesday.

About 400 doses of the recalled vaccine were received and administered here in October and November.

Safety was not an issue in the recall, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and the recalled vaccine met all standards when was shipped, but its potency has decreased in storage over time.

“It’s normal for vaccines to lose potency as they are stored – that’s why they are given an expiration date,” San Juan County Health and Community Services Director John Manning said. “This batch just appears to have declined faster than expected.”

San Juan County received the latest shipment of the now-recalled vaccine on Nov. 2. All of that vaccine was distributed within a matter of days.

According to the FDA spokesman, patients who were inoculated with vaccine during October and November are not at risk of losing its full protective benefit and revaccination is unnecessary.

Medimmune, the manufacturer, produced a total of 4.7 million doses of the “Monovalent Live Intranasal” vaccine in the lots now subject to recall, but estimates that only about 3,000 remain in the possession of distributors. Clinicians and healthcare providers are being asked to check their stocks and return any of the Medimmune vaccine that has an expiration date between Jan. 19 and Jan. 26, 2010.

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