5/16/2013 7:45:33 AM
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Amid a torrent of product recalls and scandals, Johnson & Johnson may have finally caught at least one break. After the Vietnamese Ministry of Health temporarily suspended the use of its Quinvaxem childhood vaccine due to nine deaths (see this), the World Health Organization has decided these were likely coincidental or there was insufficient information to make a clear determination. For the moment, Vietnamese authorities are not yet willing to lift the suspension and have indicated a decision will not be made until next month. Just the same, the WHO statement is a welcome relief to J&J, which stood to face yet another crisis following more than two years in which manufacturing gaffes and questionable marketing practices have sullied its credibility. “The WHO results confirm the safety of the vaccine and the deaths, which are tragic, are a coincidence,” a spokesman for the J&J Crucell vaccines division tells us. “There is no relation, up to now, that has been found between vaccination and the fatal events.” Quinvaxem is a so-called five-in-one vaccine that is given to combat diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and H, and influenza Type B.
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