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‘No need to worry’ over vaccine recall

Trevor Yearwood

‘No need to worry’ over vaccine recall

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Barbadians don’t need to worry about the recall by the manufacturers of a batch of vaccines to treat the human papilloma virus (HPV), according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John.
“We do not have that lot in Barbados,” she told the DAILY NATION yesterday.
Earlier, Minister of Health John Boyce had said Government was looking into the matter after hearing that some vials had been recalled because of flaws.
Barbados plans to offer the HPV vaccine to girls 11 to 12 years old. HPV is transmitted sexually and the vaccine protects against several types of cancers, including cervical cancer.
Boyce said that as far as he knew, nothing had changed regarding the HPV vaccine itself but the Ministry of Health was checking out the reports of the recall.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that last month it was informed by the American pharmaceutical company Merck & Company Inc. that it planned to implement a voluntary recall of lot J007354 of Gardasil [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent, types 6, 11, 16, and 18, Vaccine, Recombinant] due to the potential for a small number of vials to contain glass particles as a result of breakage during the manufacturing process.
These vials were distributed between August 20 and October 9, 2013. No other lots were said to be affected.
In a report on its website, the CDC said there were 743 360 vials in the affected lot and Merck estimated that about ten of those vials could have glass particles in them.
According to the CDC, people who had recently received an HPV vaccine or their parents did not need to take any action as a result of this recall. “If a vaccine containing glass particles (tiny enough to get through a needle) is given to a patient, mild reactions routinely seen after vaccination may occur (for instance, redness or swelling at the injection site),” the CDC said.
“To date, no adverse events related to this lot of HPV vaccine have been reported other than these types of mild reactions. We do not expect delayed side effects to occur. If you or your child recently received HPV vaccination, there is no need to be revaccinated. The vaccine’s effectiveness is not impacted by this problem.”
Merck was said to be contacting offices or clinics which had received vaccines from lot J007354 and providing them with procedures to return any of the vaccines that had not been used.
“This voluntary recall does not affect the supply of vaccine,” the CDC reported.