Sanofi Pasteur MSD recalls typhoid vaccine

Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a vaccine joint venture of Sanofi ($SNY) and Merck ($MRK), recalled 16 batches--or 88%--of its Typhim Vi vaccine because of concerns about effectiveness.

Problems in the manufacturing process may have left more than 700,000 people without full protection against typhoid. Anyone immunized with the vaccine since January 2011 could be affected, BBC News reports. However, the vaccine poses no safety or health threats.

"There are no concerns over the safety of this vaccine, but the recall has taken place because the vaccine may not be as effective as it should be," Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency Official Ian Holloway said, as quoted by Reuters.

A Sanofi Pasteur MSD spokesman told BBC News the company is working to resolve the issue but has not pinned down a date as to when normal supplies will resume. Officials are shooting for the beginning of 2013.

Typhoid fever is common in South Asia and Southeast Asia and causes diarrhea and a rash. The ailment can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough.

- here's more from BBC News
- see the brief from Reuters