Contamination found in more Chiron
Bacteria discovered in flu shots intended for European market
Bernadette Tansey, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Chiron Corp., which is still seeking approval to resume U.S. sales of flu vaccine from a plant that was sidelined last year by contamination, announced Friday that similar problems have surfaced at a different factory that makes its flu shots for the European market.
After finding bacteria in some vaccine lots from its plant in Marburg, Germany, the Emeryville biotechnology firm said it will be able to produce at most 4 million doses, or one-third of the 12 million shots of Begrivac it had planned to deliver to customers in Germany and the United Kingdom in the coming flu season.
The new manufacturing snag headlined a day of discouraging news for Chiron. It parallels the sterility defects at a Liverpool plant that forced Chiron to scrap 50 million doses of Fluvirin, the flu vaccine that had been expected to provide half the U.S. supply, nearly a year ago.