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Recalled swine flu shots found in Utah

Recalled swine flu shots found in Utah



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Approximately 2,800 doses of recalled swine flu shots for children were distributed throughout Utah.

Tests indicate the vaccine doses lost some strength.

The 2,800 doses are a small percentage of the 800,000 pre-filled syringes that were recalled for young children, ages 6 months to nearly 3 years.

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The shots, made by Sanofi Pasteur, were distributed across the country last month and most have already been used, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tom Hudachko of the Utah Department of Health says the weakened vaccines were distributed within the boundaries of nine of the 12 local health departments, however, most were distributed to private clinics and pharmacies and not to the health departments themselves.

The vaccines were distributed within the boundaries of these departments:

  • Salt Lake Valley
  • Utah County
  • Weber-Morgan
  • Bear River District
  • Davis County
  • Southeast District
  • Southwest District
  • Tooele County
  • Summit County

Salt Lake Valley, Utah County and Weber-Morgan health departments have confirmed they never received the weakened vaccine in their clinics.

The Davis County Health Department receive about 300 doses, but it says none were given to the public.

Hudachko pointed out that the weakened vaccines are not harmful and in fact still contain some potency, but were recalled because they fell below the minimum level.

Tests done before the shots were shipped showed the vaccines were strong enough. But tests done weeks later indicated the strength had fallen slightly below required levels.

Why the potency dropped isn't clear. "That's the $64,000 question," said Len Lavenda, a Sanofi Pasteur spokesman.

Young children are supposed to get two doses, spaced about a month apart. Health officials don't think children need to get vaccinated again, even if they got two doses from the recalled lots, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, a CDC flu expert.

Swine flu vaccine has been available since early October, and since then manufacturers have released about 95 million doses for distribution in the United States.

Copyright 2008 Bonneville International Corporation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed. AP contributed to this report.

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