Monday, May 18, 2009

Flu Vaccine Contaminated with Live H5N1 Virus During Packaging?

Baxter Pharmaceuticals, the maker of flu vaccines, had a glitch. Their test flu vaccine was contaminated with live virus from the deadly H5N1 bird flu. A Baxter rep said it happened by accident, likely during packaging.

So how do live bird flu viruses present during packaging? Do they fly around the manufacturing facility, dive bombing open vials as they speed toward lid application? Did a Baxter employee have a syringe with live virus, adding droplets as they whizzed by?

An answer is needed, as the world faces an H1N1 outbreak. Baxter and Chiron will produce millions of flu vaccines for the coming fall. They don't need to be tainted with live, but deadly flu viruses.

(Baxter is the same company that brought Americans deadly heparin. Chinese labs substituted a lower cost ingredient, that turned out to be deadly. For quality, manufacturers need to know their supplier. Baxter clearly didn't.)