For weeks, Dr. Cajsa Schumacher and her staff have been working to get as many kids the H1N1 vaccine as possible. But a recall announcement today has her worried.
"I'm concerned parents may get discouraged, or cynical and say forget vaccines, I'm just not doing it. That would be a shame," she said.
She said the problem with these vaccines isn't how safe they are, it's how strong they are. The strength, or potency of vaccines is tested throughout production. And continues even after they've hit the market. That's when vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur found the potency had slipped, below the pre-specified limit.
"It's just a slightly less potent vaccine than they originally thought. In other words it's not like this vaccine was for naught it's not like we didn't do anything good here," she said.
Kids ages six months to 3 years are the ones who would have used these pre-filled syringes. Schumacher said that following through with booster shots will correct any possible issues.
"We would recommend as we have all along that their child receive a second dose if their child is under age ten," she said.
That's exactly what Sanofi Pasteur is telling consumers to do. But now, there are only two vaccine options left. One, is the nasal spray, which can't be used for kids under two or with chronic illnesses. The other is the multi-dose vaccine containing thimerosal, a stabling agent containing small amounts of ethyl mercury. Schumacher said that all the alternatives are safe.
"Vaccines save lives, vaccines are safe this isn't a safety issue, it's a potency issue," she said.
The Albany County Health Department says 200 of these recalled vaccines were sent to the county. But none of them were used at any of it's clinics. To find out of your child received one of these the county said that it's notifying doctors.