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Health officials to parents: Don't worry about recent recall of kids' H1N1 vaccines

H1N1 vaccines at a Sanofi-Pasteur production plant in Val-de-Reuil, western Paris.
H1N1 vaccines at a Sanofi-Pasteur production plant in Val-de-Reuil, western Paris.
AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

Nearly 800,000 doses of kids’ H1N1 (“swine flu”) vaccines were voluntarily recalled on Tuesday by manufacturer Sanofi-Pasteur because of low potency. Health officials want parents to know that this was a non-safety-related recall, and that there is no cause for concern.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, a CDC flu expert, said in an Associated Press article that parents don’t need to do anything if their child got one (or even two) of the affected vaccines, because the vaccines are still safe and effective. The only thing parents of children who received a recalled vaccine should do is make sure their children get both doses of the vaccine (usually spaced about a month apart).

The recalled vaccines were shipped last month. So far, there have been no reports of affected vaccines from the four recalled lots in Los Angeles County. The only reported case to date in the state is inugh Santa Clara County, in Northern California, which did received vaccines from one of the affected lots.

The vaccines were recalled due to a slight drop in strength. The vaccines passed potency tests before, but fell slightly below required levels in tests done weeks later. However, children who received the vaccines are still protected from the H1N1.

The take-home message for parents: You don’t need to do anything if your child’s received the H1N1 vaccine. If you’re still worried, make a quick call to your pediatrician’s office for reassurance.

If your child hasn’t received the H1N1 shot, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your pediatrician to get the vaccination – the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children ages 6 months through 4 years (up to their fifth birthday) get vaccinated. There are a limited number of free vaccines available Los Angeles County Department of Public Health clinics, including one in Torrance.

For more information about H1N1: