Infant Hexa vaccine expired in cold store to be replaced in March

Vaccination certificate.
Vaccination certificate. Source: ERR

Instead of the infant Hexa vaccine, which is used in inoculations against several illnesses but whose stock expired due to a cold storage failure in June which the Health Board (Terviseamet) has been deemed culpable for, families have had to accept the use of multiple injections instead of one. The supply of the original, one-shot Hexa vaccine will return in March 2022.

In addition to the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab, the infant vaccine also expired in the Health Board's cold store failure. The vaccine gave protection against six diseases with one shot - diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hib infection (the cause of meningitis), hepatitis B. It's meant for children up to three years old.

For children over two years old who haven't been revaccinated with the Hexa vaccine, this will be postponed until the next supply arrives in Estonia. The supply difficulties are still ongoing.

"According to the current knowledge, vaccinating children over 24 months can continue in March 2022," the communication manager of the Health Board Imre Kaas said. "All family doctors will be informed of the vaccine arriving."

The communication manager of the Health Insurance Fund Evelin Trink told ERR a couple of thousand children are waiting for the vaccine.

"5,000 doses will arrive, which will cover the hole in between and it will cover the queue for a couple of months," Trink said. "A greater procurement is undergoing, its results will be revealed at the beginning of the year, it's a shield for the future."

Alternatively, one injection can be replaced by three. The replacement tetra injection protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, but two additional injections are needed against Hib infection and hepatitis B.

Following the failure of the cold store, new six-component vaccines, Hexacima and Hexyon, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, were also introduced in Estonia, but these vaccines are indicated for children up to two years of age.

"There are currently 28,000 doses of Hexyon in stock which can be used for vaccination," Kaas said.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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