Warning over Typhoid vaccine failure

  • Posted

Posted 08/10/2012

The BBC has reported that more than 700,000 people recently immunised against typhoid may not have full protection because of a dud vaccine that has now been recalled by its manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur MSD. This could affect anyone immunised with the vaccine since January 2011.

Officials stress that the vaccine was safe and posed no health threat. However, it could mean that as many as 729,606 people who potentially received the affected vaccine are not fully immunised against typhoid, according to the body that regulates drugs in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Typhoid fever is comparatively rare in the UK, but people visiting South Asia and South East Asia, where the life-threatening bacterial disease is most common, are at greater risk. Experts say people should not be revaccinated but should seek medical advice about precautions against typhoid when abroad, in case the vaccine has not provided full protection.

The MHRA has advised that anyone who has been to a typhoid region of the world and has a fever, abdominal pain and vomiting should contact a healthcare professional. Typhoid is very contagious, but can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough.

Sophie Bales, a medical injury solicitor at Ashtons Legal comments: “It is worrying that over 700,000 people who have been injected with a Typhoid vaccine as far back as January 2011 may not have been fully immunised against risk of infection. At this stage, it appears to be unknown how many of these people, if any, have become infected with Typhoid as a result of the ineffectual vaccine.

The vaccines have now been recalled, but it is imperative that anyone who has been injected with a typhoid vaccine following January 2011 should seek advice from their GP before going abroad. Similarly, anyone who has been to a typhoid region of the world and is now suffering from a fever, abdominal pain or vomiting should go to their GP urgently. Typhoid is incredibly contagious and can be treated but only if diagnosed early enough. Therefore, it is important that action is taken straight away”.


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