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article imageDoctors run out of typhoid vaccine

By Tim Sandle     Dec 26, 2012 in Travel
Travelers from the UK planning to visit exotic countries this winter face delays to get immunized against typhoid. This is because of a UK shortage of vaccine following a recall of valuable stocks.
Health authorities in the UK have reported that there is a critical shortage of typhoid vaccines. This is due to a recall in October by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur MSD, who supply large quantities of the vaccine worldwide.
According to the Independent, the recall affected16 batches of its injectable typhoid vaccine Typhim Vi, which was equivalent to 88% of its stock.
The shortage has also been affected by GlaxoSmithKline, another manufacturer of injectable typhoid vaccines. Glaxo took the decision in 2011 to concentrate on making other products for global childhood vaccination programs. As a result, GSK says its injectable typhoid vaccine, Typherix, will not be available until at least the second quarter of 2014.
Typhoid fever is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella typhi, serotype Typhi.
There are two vaccines licensed for use for the prevention of typhoid:the live, oral Ty21a vaccine (sold as Vivotif Berna) and the injectable Typhoid polysaccharide vaccine (sold as Typhim Vi by Sanofi Pasteur and Typherix by GlaxoSmithKline).
As reported in the Guardian, a UK Department of Health spokesman is quoted as saying: "Typhoid is rare in this country and is usually associated with travel to countries where sanitation is inadequate. The vaccine is still available and we are working with manufacturers to help ensure that current supply problems are resolved as soon as possible."
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