More H1N1 vaccines recalled in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. — More than 11,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine distributed in Connecticut have been recalled because of decreased potency, the third such recall in two months, The Hartford Courant reported Feb. 3.

Like the two previous recalls, the latest one is not safety related, according to the state Department of Public Health. Federal health authorities do not recommend that people who received the recalled vaccine be revaccinated.

Sanofi Pasteur recalled its vaccine, which comes in single-dose, pre-filled syringes, after finding that the potency was below required levels. The recalled batches had passed safety, purity and potency specifications before they were shipped.

The reduced potency is not expected to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine in the body, according to the health department.

Connecticut health care providers received 11,360 doses of the recalled vaccine, which was shipped to the state between November and January. More than 72 health care providers were affected by the recall and have been notified by the health department.

Most of the recalled doses were meant for children, while a smaller number were meant for older children and adults.

"It is important to stress that the vaccine is still considered safe and was recalled for non-safety related issues," health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin said in a written statement.

"Vaccines still remain our best protection against many diseases, including the flu. The single most effective way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated."

In December, Sanofi Pasteur recalled about 800,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine, including 7,800 that were distributed in Connecticut, and vaccine maker MedImmune recalled 4.7 million doses of nasal spray vaccine, including 67,400 doses distributed in Connecticut.

In both December cases, the vaccines were recalled because the potency level dropped, not because of safety concerns.