Dutch pull Pfizer infant vaccine after deaths

Dutch health authorities have yanked a batch of Pfizer's Prevnar following the deaths of three infants.

Prevnar, which is known as Prevenar in Europe, is used to protect infants from certain pneumococcal bacteria that can cause meningitis and bacteremia. Pfizer acquired the drug through its recent acquisition of Wyeth.

"On average about 5 to 10 deaths are reported annually after babies get vaccines," said a spokeswoman for the Dutch health institute RIVM. Each infant had received the vaccine within the past two weeks, according to Forbes.

Pfizer spokeswoman Gwen Fisher said preliminary investigations by the company and health authorities had found no link between the vaccinations and the deaths. Fisher said the company initiated the "quarantine" of the batch, which she said contained 110,000 doses of the vaccine. She added that the three infants also received two unrelated other vaccines as part of routine immunizations.

Read the Forbes story