Millions of H1N1 Doses Will Expire on Feb. 15

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , February 9, 2010

All lots of monovalent 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in pre-filled syringes manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur—and not included in two earlier recalls—have a shorter expiration period than indicated on the label, according to a new health alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To ensure that the vaccine meets potency standards, the vaccine—which had previous expiration dates ranging from March 2011 to June 2011—should be used by Feb. 15, the manufacturer said. These lots were shipped between November 2009 and January 2010.

No additional Sanofi Pasteur pre filled syringes will be available after Feb. 15; however, pre filled syringes from Novartis and CSL will remain available.

The 50 lots being recalled are those not included in two earlier recalls of other lots of H1N1 flu vaccine in pre-filled syringes from Sanofi Pasteur.

Individuals who received the vaccine from the lots with shortened shelf life do not need to take any additional action, the CDC said. All pre filled H1N1 Sanofi Pasteur flu syringes that have not been used by Feb. 15, should be discarded in an appropriate manner, or returned to the company for destruction, according to the CDC.

A total of 124 million doses of all brands of the H1N1 flu vaccine have been shipped around the country, said CDC respiratory disease chief Anne Schuchat, MD, at a news briefing on Friday. "It's really easy to be vaccinated now, and we hope people will take advantage of that."

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