For Immediate Release
December 23, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Kansas Responds to Non-Safety Related Nasal H1N1 Vaccine Voluntary Recall

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) was notified today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the active ingredient in 13 lots of nasal (live attenuated virus or LAIV) H1N1 vaccine is expected to fall below the pre-specified limit before the manufacturer's original vaccine expiration date for those lots. The ingredient, called antigen, is what stimulates an immune response in an individual.

The manufacturer, MedImmune, has issued a voluntary recall for vaccine in the affected lots.

“This is a voluntary recall and it has nothing to do with safety,” stated Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, Kansas State Health Officer and Director of the KDHE Division of Health. “Because the potency in the affected lots may soon be slightly below the limit, those who received nasal vaccine from these lots do not need to have the vaccine re-administered.” 

The affected vaccine’s expiration date is being moved forward so that its use is discontinued before the potency is reduced. Vaccine from the affected lots that has already been administered would be effective because it would have been sufficiently potent at that time it was given. A vaccine can lose its potency if it remains on the shelf too long before it enters the human body, but not after.

As is recommended for all 2009 H1N1 vaccines, all children younger than 10 years old should get the recommended two doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine approximately a month apart. Therefore, children younger than 10 years old who have only received one dose of vaccine thus far should still receive a second dose of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. It is best to use the same type of vaccine for the first and second doses.

The Kansas Immunization Program at KDHE is identifying the local health departments and private providers that received vaccine from the 13 lots included in the voluntary recall, and requesting that the vaccine be sent back to MedImmune. Also, MedImmune will send a notification to providers who received doses from any of the 13 lots of vaccine so that they can return any unused vaccine.

Kansans who have questions about the recall can contact the CDC public response hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or the KDHE H1N1 hotline at 1-877-427-7317, or visit and click on “Individuals, Families and Communities.”

Recalled vaccine was shipped to 78 providers in the following Kansas counties:

Barton, Brown, Cherokee, Crawford, Dickinson, Elk, Ford, Gray, Harvey, Jackson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, McPherson, Miami, Montgomery, Nemaha, Neosho, Pottawatomie, Reno, Rice, Riley, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Seward, Shawnee, Sumner, Wilson, Wyandotte.