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World Health Org Bans a Hep B Vaccine After Infant Deaths

Posted Sep 12 2008 10:26am
WHO bans vaccine, sends experts to probe child deaths in Vietnam
Thanh Nien News

The World Health Organization has suspended the use of a Hepatitis B vaccine worldwide after three newborns died and another became seriously ill in Vietnam after getting shots in the last few weeks.

Nguyen Tran Hien, head of a council set up in Vietnam to investigate the cases, told the council’s first meeting that two international experts from the UN health agency would arrive in Vietnam Saturday to work with local investigators.

The cases occurred between April 23 and May 7 in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Tinh Province, and Thanh Hoa Province.

One baby fully recovered after taking ill.

The WHO-approved vaccine is made by South Korea's LG Life Sciences and distributed in Vietnam through a UN program.

Earlier this month, Vietnam instructed all localities nationwide to stop using the vaccine.

WHO's Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals has asked that countries around the world stop using shots from the affected batches until the cause of the illness can be determined.
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