Anti-meningitis vaccine with iron oxide: lots withdrawn. Families sue

Anti-meningitis vaccine with iron oxide: lots withdrawn. Families sue
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Find impurities in the Meningitec drug produced by Neuron Biotech. Aifa assures: "Precautionary withdrawals, there was no damage". A group of parents: "Among the immediate effects high fever and nausea. But nobody talks about the long-term ones. Notice given by the company and not by the control bodies"

The withdrawal of the vaccine Meningitec from the market it dragged hundreds of families into panic. Two orders issued by theItalian drug agency (Aifa) on September 26 and October 6. Under accusation eleven lots of the drug (which immunizes from meningococcus C and is given to children between 12 and 15 months) produced by the Dutch pharmaceutical company Nuron Biotech, which entered the market in Italy from May 2013. Inside the vials "the presence of a reddish orange foreign body identified as" was found iron oxide and stainless steel ". So reports the Aifa online site on 13 October after receiving the report from the same manufacturing company. Another communication follows three days later which ensures the nonexistence of potential effects that could have resulted from the use of these syringes.

The last word, however, belongs to the Aifa Scientific Technical Commission which, on the 27th of last month, declares that "there are no indications, to date, that the impurities (iron oxide particles), if present, may impact the effectiveness of the vaccine. " The withdrawal, as always happens in suspicious cases, has been precautionary. The anomalies, Aifa points out, do not concern all the packs of the lots identified. But the fear that something has gone wrong remains. So much so that one sixty families, (the vaccine is generally proposed to a year of life of the child, along with that for measles-mumps-rubella) learned the news, decided to sue. These are mainly residents of the Latium, Veneto e Calabria. "I found out thanks to Facebook - explains Sandro Airaldi, of Castrolibero, in the province of Cosenza, who vaccinated his son in July 2013 - a parent from a town close to mine, Corigliano, posted a notice. So I immediately inquired. I called the ASL, I asked for the certificate with the serial number of the vaccine administered to my child and then I turned to a lawyer. "

Mr. Airaldi also founded a group on the social network "Meningic vaccine scandal C", he counts 153 members, all directly involved. “It serves to keep us updated, since the competent bodies pretend that nothing has happened. Not even the ASL warned me, I am outraged. " The injection of the vaccine to his son resulted high fever, vomiting and Diarrhea. "The pediatrician reassured me, they are common side effects, he told me." Also Fabiola Ermo, of Rome learned of the withdrawal of the lots through the social networks. “I am part of a group of mothers, and one of them raised the alarm. Now we want the truth. " The families involved they trusted the lawyer Roberto Mastalia, which is preparing a complaint against AIFA, the Ministry of Health and the Dutch pharmaceutical company. “AIFA's assessments do not take into account the damage that could occur in the future. At the moment, medicine does not exclude them yet ”notes the lawyer.
“It cannot be accepted - he adds - that the company that produces Meningitec was the first to give the warning and not the state supervisory bodies. And then, who tells us that the Nuron Biotech did not wait to dispose of the lots before to report the contamination? ".
Another detail that could disturb families is found in the press release issued on online portal of the company: "Iron oxide and oxidized steel - it says - could produce local and systemic reactions similar to those produced by the active ingredient of Meningitec". Conclusion: it is difficult to establish whether the adverse effects are those normally caused by the vaccine or the contaminated one. The task of checking the vaccines before they enter the market it is up toHigher Institute of Health which so far has not encountered any oddities and makes the alarm go back. He doesn't care neither Silvio Garattini, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research. His comment: “The withdrawal of batches of drugs is quite frequent. It happens that there are some impurity. But until now they have never proved harmful to human health. Studies on the consequences at a distance, however, are still ongoing ".