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Merck Resumes Distribution of Monovalent Hib Vaccine
Recall of PedvaxHIB Led to Nationwide Shortage, Booster Deferrals
By News Staff
Merck, which suspended production of the two vaccines, initially planned to resume distribution in the fourth quarter of 2008. COMVAX remains unavailable, although Merck expects to begin shipping it later this summer.
Order Vaccine Before March 25-April 5 Break in Merck Operations
Merck said on its Web site that from March 25 through April 5, it will not take orders by phone, fax or online. It plans to resume taking orders by phone and fax on April 6 and to resume taking online orders on April 7. The interruption of business also will affect shipping and order tracking, as well as processing credit card payments.
"Consider your vaccine inventory needs, and place your March through mid-April orders no later than the week of March 15 to ensure processing is complete, based upon supply, before the service interruption," the company said.
Manufacturer sanofi pasteur attempted to fill the Hib vaccine gap by increasing production of its monovalent Hib vaccine product ActHIB and another combination product.
In August 2009, the FDA approved GlaxoSmithKline's Hiberix as a booster dose for children ages 15 months to 4 years. Soon after that, the AAFP adopted a CDC recommendation that physicians recall children who had not received a Hib booster dose.
The CDC's 2008 Immunization Survey found that coverage with three or more doses of Hib vaccine decreased nearly 2 percent from the 2007 level -- to 90.9 percent -- because of the shortage, which contributed to outbreaks of invasive Hib disease in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.