Vaccine recall over EU calf death fears
Withdrawal of Pfizer vaccine Pregsure BVD ordered by Commission
Published 07/09/2010 | 05:00
A European-wide recall of the Pfizer vaccine Pregsure BVD has been ordered amid concerns about a possible link between the vaccine and calf deaths from haemorrhaging.
The recall, ordered by the European Commission, was prompted by a possible link between the use of the vaccine in cows and the development of Bovine Neonatal Pancytopenia (BNP), also known as bleeding calf syndrome.
More than three million doses of Pregsure vaccine have been sold in Ireland since it was launched here five years ago and it is understood that around 5,000 doses will have to be recalled locally.
Just six cases of BNP in calves have been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture in Ireland.
BNP was first identified in Europe a number of years ago and an expert European Commission committee was set up to examine all available information on the disease and possible causes.
While the cause of the disorder remains unknown, the committee concluded that the Pregsure BVD vaccination might have been a contributory factor.
"Data evaluated suggests that Pregsure BVD may be one of the contributing factors for BNP although investigations are currently ongoing to determine all the factors associated with the disorder and the underlying cause," the Commission committee findings stated. A statement from Pfizer confirmed the product recall, but insisted the association of BNP with the use of Pregsure BVD was not clear.
"The evidence currently available at European level indicates that BNP is likely to have a multifactorial cause," Pfizer said.