WHO to Probe Vietnam Child Deaths Linked to Vaccine
May 16, 2007
Vietnam has suspended its use of a South Korean-made hepatitis B vaccine linked to the deaths of three children in the nation. Today, the World Health Organization announced it is launching an investigation. WHO said it supports Vietnam's temporary halt to the vaccine's use. The Euavax B vaccine is produced by LG Life Sciences and distributed in Vietnam through the UN's system.
WHO spokesperson Dida Connor said the health body has "recommended the temporary suspension of the distribution and use of specific lots of the Euvax B vaccine produced by LG because of these recent reports." Vaccine from the lots in question has been shipped to 24 countries; however, no further adverse reactions have been reported to date.
Vietnam halted its use of the vaccine nationwide on May 8 following the death of a third vaccinated newborn within two weeks.
"WHO, UNICEF and the government are taking this very seriously," Connor said, adding that a team of international experts is being dispatched to investigate the matter. "WHO will send out further advice pending the outcome of this investigation." Connor said the LG vaccine had been used for some years with no reports of deaths or serious reactions. "LG has been informed about the events by WHO and is working with the government of Vietnam and UNICEF and WHO," Connor said.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.