Flu vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur has voluntarily recalled about 800,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine for children because it wasn't deemed potent enough to meet the manufacturer's standards, the Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday.
The agency said there are no safety concerns with the four batches of vaccine being recalled, which arrives in prefilled syringes and is intended for children.
The recalled batches passed safety, purity and potency tests before being shipped, but later the potency was found to have dropped below the manufacturer's specifications.
About 5,100 doses of the recalled vaccine were shipped to Washington state. Walla Walla County received 200 doses. Benton, Franklin and Grant counties did not get any of the weaker vaccine.
Never miss a local story.
Harvey Crowder, public health administrator for the Walla Walla County Health Department, said no one has gotten a shot containing the recalled vaccine.
Crowder said Walla Walla County is holding the recalled doses until the health department gets further instructions from Sanofi Pasteur.
Health officials have said there's no danger in receiving the weaker vaccine, and children who got shots from the recalled batches don't have to be re-vaccinated.
"The vaccine is being recalled out of an abundance of precaution," Crowder said. "They have not been able to demonstrate any difference in its ability to deliver an immune response, but because it doesn't quite meet the standards Sanofi Pasteur expects they are asking us to withhold it and that's what we're doing."
Heather Hill, communicable disease manager for the Benton-Franklin HealthDistrict, said any child under 10 who has received only one dose of the vaccine still needs to get a second dose for the shot to be effective.
"If you're under age 10, you still need to get two doses this year," she said. "
w Michelle Dupler: 582-1543; email@example.com