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Pfizer/ S-A vaccines halted in Japan

Separate vaccines from sanofi-aventis and Pfizer have had their use suspended in Japan following the deaths of four children

Separate vaccines from sanofi-aventis (S-A) and Pfizer have had their use suspended in Japan following the deaths of four children.

S-A's ActHIB, to protect against Haemophilus influenzae type b, and Pfizer's Prevenar to prevent against pneumococcal disease such as pneumonia and meningitis, have been suspended by Japan's Health Ministry while the causes of deaths of four inoculated children are investigated.

According to the Associated Press, four children, age 2 years old or under, died between March 2 and March 4, with the deaths occurring within a three day period of the vaccines administration.

Over one million children have been inoculated in Japan since ActHIB was launched in the country in December 2008 and Prevenar started to be used in 2009.

The suspension follows a 2009 incident where authorities suspended the use of a batch of Prevenar in the Netherlands after the deaths of three children inoculated with the vaccine.

Authorities later decided there was no correlation between the deaths and the vaccinations.

7th March 2011

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