H1N1 vaccine given here not part of national recall

800.000 doses failed to meet potency tests for children, federal health officials say

The Alameda County Public Health Department reported Tuesday that none of the 6,000 people it vaccinated last Saturday at the county fairgrounds in Pleasanton received doses of the H1N1 flu vaccines that have now been recalled.

Their announcement followed a decision Monday by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a voluntary recall of 800,000 doses of the vaccine after tests indicated that it didn't meet potency standards.

The California Department of Public Health is still gathering information on which agencies received the affected vaccines. Its spokesman Ken August said the recall affects 47,800 doses sent to 159 providers throughout California.

"Fortunately, this does not involve the safety of the vaccine," he said.

Besides the fairgrounds in Pleasanton, the local clinics also were held in the cities of Oakland, Alameda, Fremont and Hayward. They were operated in partnership with city and county fire departments, and other emergency personnel. The vaccines were given to those most at risk of complications from exposure to the virus, such as pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems.

Public health officials in Alameda and Contra Costa counties said Tuesday that they are not impacted by the recall.

However, those who received the vaccine at clinics in San Francisco and in Santa Clara County might have received the recalled vaccine. The San Francisco Department of Public Health estimated that about 9,000 doses of a pediatric H1N1 vaccine recalled by the federal government were distributed within the city. Santa Clara County health officials said that the county received 900 of the recalled doses. Some of those doses were administered at the county fairgrounds in San Jose last Friday and on Dec. 6, and at the California Children's Services site on Empey Way.

The recalled vaccine does not affect its safety, only its potency in protecting children who received it, health officials said.

"The vaccine in question may be slightly less potent, but kids don't need to get revaccinated," health officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said. "If they haven't yet had their second dose, they should get it as scheduled."

The recalled doses were detected during routine testing by Sanofi Pasteur. Testing revealed that the amount of antigens in the four lots did not meet the required levels. While the antigen content of these lots is now below the specification limit, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are in agreement that the small decrease in antigen content is unlikely to result in a significant reduction in immune response among children who received the vaccine.

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