Concord, NH: The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) today announced New Hampshire should not be impacted by Merck’s recall of the Haemophilus Influenza type b (Hib) vaccine.
There are two national producers of the hib vaccine, Merck and Sanofi Pasteur. The New Hampshire Immunization Program purchases its Hib vaccines from Sanofi. “Because our supply of Hib comes from Sanofi,” said Acting DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas, “we are fortunate to report New Hampshire children vaccinated in our State will not be affected by this national recall.”
Hib is a bacteria usually spread from person to person. It can cause severe illness such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia. This bacteria used to be the leading cause of meningitis in the country but since introducing the vaccine the problem has almost been eliminated. “We want to make sure people understand Haemophilus Influenza type b is not the same as influenza,” said State Epidemiologist Dr Jose Montero. “The seasonal flu is a viral infection, and the vaccine for that has nothing to do with this recall.”
Merck is voluntarily recalling about 1 million doses due to potential contamination during production. “At this point no problems related to the Hib vaccine have been reported, and no other Merck vaccines have been compromised,” Montero said. “What may happen to children vaccinated with a contaminated product is a blistering or abscess on the site of the application.”
The Hib vaccine is generally administered to infants at two, four and six months of age.
For more information about the Hib vaccine and this recall, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website at: