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Vaccine recall after pollution fear

Fears over possible contamination have led a drug company to recall batches of its meningitis C vaccine, it has been announced.

The Menjugate Kit from Italy, distributed in the UK, is being looked into by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Srl after the company was alerted to a sterility issue connected to solvent used in the product.

According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), no children are at risk from the solvent and the watchdog said the vaccine had been recalled purely as a precautionary measure.

Some samples had tested positive for the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, but these had not been brought over to the UK, a spokeswoman said.

But two batches already distributed have had to be recalled nonetheless for further tests to be carried out.

The spokeswoman said: "The tested samples that failed the sterility test were part of a non-routine study undertaken by the company and were not part of the UK market product."

Surgeries around the country are believed to have received around 20,000 vials, though it is unclear how they have been distributed.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency