FRANKFURT Jan 27 German doctors have been told
to ration two chickenpox vaccines for children after drugmaker
GlaxoSmithKline stopped deliveries, saying production
quality standards had not been met.
Healthcare regulators have issued guidelines to physicians
to deal with shortages of Priorix-Tetra, a combined vaccine for
measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) known as
MMRV; and Varilrix, a chickenpox jab.
Vaccines that have already been delivered are safe, said
Germany's federal agency for infectious diseases and its
vaccination agency, adding they expect GSK to resume deliveries
during the second quarter, without being more specific.
Their advice to doctors include using MMR vaccines instead
of MMRV for initial shots, and delaying booster jabs.
A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Germany said it
decided to stop all chickenpox vaccine deliveries after it found
internal production quality standards had not been met, without
elaborating. The spokeswoman could not say whether other
countries were also affected.
The drugmaker said it would not resume deliveries until the
cause of the problem was identified.
Separately, GSK said it also expects a shortage of
Boostrix-Polio, a combined vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus,
whooping cough and polio, of more two weeks in February because
an unexpected increase in demand amid limited production