Merck & Co., a popular drug manufacturer, announced a recall of more than one million vaccines due to a contamination risk.
U.S. Health officials say the recall is not a health threat. Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, echoed that in a news conference.
The recalled vaccine, HIB, is used to protect babies and children from meningitis and pneumonia. Merck announced the recall after testing at their Pennsylvania factory discovered a sterilization problem. At this time officials are unsure if the contamination involves a bacteria or virus.
Concerned parents are advised to contact their child’s doctor for further information.
The recall is likely to heighten a debate over childhood vaccines and their safety and whether too many are required. Some parents are distrustful and suspect some vaccines of being linked to autism, although scientific studies have not shown such a connection.
This week New Jersey took a controversial step toward becoming the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers after a health advisory board backed new vaccine requirements over opposition from parents.