Japan: No link between child deaths, vaccines

Japanese experts have determined that four child deaths were not vaccine-related. Ministry officials suspended the two vaccines--Pfizer's meningitis and pneumonia preventive Prevenar (known as Prevnar in the U.S.) and Sanofi's Hemophilius influenza vaccine ActHIB--after four infants died following vaccinations last week.

After reviewing the data, the experts determined the deaths were most likely a coincidence, and no issues were found in the lots of the vaccines used for the children. But Prevenar and ActHIB will remain suspended until more data can be examined. In the U.S., the CDC says it's aware of the deaths, but health agencies "have not detected new safety concerns or unusual reporting patterns," according to a spokesperson.

Pfizer notes it has distributed 2 million doses of Prevenar in Japan since last year, while Sanofi said it has shipped more than 3 million doses of ActHIB in the country since 2008. And 200 million doses of the vaccine have been given to children in at least 120 countries.

- see the Reuters news
- get more from Reuters
- read the Wall Street Journal's coverage

Suggested Articles

Daiichi Sankyo says it still unable to fulfill a government mandate to be able to produce enough H5N1 flu vaccine to fight an epidemic in Japan.

GSK’s Shingrix has continuously impressed industry watchers with its growth, and the company just added another large market to its list: China.

WuXi Biologics says it will build a dedicated facility to manufacture a commercial vaccine product for a client in a $3 billion contract.