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Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis Vaccines in Probe for Deaths

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Japan temporarily stopped the use of Prevenar, which is made by Pfizer Inc. in the U.S., and ActHIB, made by France’s Sanofi-Aventis SA, while they are being investigated after four children innoculated with these vaccines died. The children who died were between six months to two years old. It’s reported that these infants died with either the sole vaccination of the questioned vaccines while some died after innoculation of either of the two vaccines combined with others. Incidentally another infant died just last November on his second shot of the ActHIB.

Pfizer Inc. ranks number one in the world when it comes to sales of their pharmaceutical products while Sanofi-Aventis ranks fourth. While it’s almost part of these companies’ territory to be put under investigation for their drugs it would be noted that Pfizer plead guilty in 2009 to the largest case of health care fraud in the U.S. for illegally marketing four of its drugs.

Prevenar is for the protection of children against meningitis, the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, and is therefore considered life-threatening.

ActHIB is against lung inflammation. This is what we call pneumonia and is the common and leading cause of death among the young, old and chronically ill.

The Japanese government is going to hear from experts this Tuesday.

These vaccines are reportedly not posing any same risk in Australia according to its county’s officials. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) stated that Australia’s Prevenar vaccine came from a different batch than the ones in Japan.

A TGA spokeswoman said Act-HIB vaccine isn’t used in Australia and added that its stocks of Prevenar are safe.

Authorities in the U.S. say there isn’t any concern or any unusual event regarding these drugs which had been used in their country for 10 years already.

The deaths of at least three children in the Netherlands who died after getting ActHIB immunization had been cleared already through an investigation.

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