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GPs alerted over meningitis C vaccine recall

By Nigel Praities

The drugs regulator has announced the recall of thousands of doses of the meningitis C vaccine, due to fears over bacterial contamination.

Two batches of the Menjugate Kit are being pulled after the manufacturer, Novartis, discovered a failure in their sterilisation procedures may have led to contamination with Staphylococcus aureus.

PCTs are being asked to warn GPs, community pharmacists and other clinics about the product recall for batches of single dose vaccine numbered 235012A and 236011.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said there was no reason for UK children to be at risk from this product, but ‘as a precaution' the batches were being recalled.

‘Other meningitis vaccines, and other batches of Menjugate, are not affected by this recall. If a parent has any concerns about the MenC vaccine administered to their child they should discuss this with their doctor,' said a statement from the drugs regulator.

The UK was the first country to introduce the meningitis C conjugate vaccine in 1999, with around 13 million children immunised during the first year. The programme, targeted at under-20 year olds, has achieved a 90% reduction in cases of meningitis C in that age group.

A spokesperson from Novartis said it was working with the MHRA and were investigating the problem. 'Novartis is committed to being a safe and reliable provider of vaccines,' she said.

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