Niger warning over fake Pfizer meningitis vaccine

The authorities in Niger say they found falsified versions of a meningitis vaccine after launching a campaign to inoculate children against the disease.

The counterfeit vaccine – claiming to be Pfizer’s Mencevax ACWY product – was discovered during a routine inspection of a privately-owned pharmacy in Niger’s capital Niamey, according to the Ministry of Public Health. The suspect vaccine has a claimed manufacturing date of December 2016, with an expiry date of November 2021.

Mencevax is a single-dose meningococcal ACWY unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine used to control outbreaks of meningococcal infection, and is registered for use in people aged two and over in dozens of countries around the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in 2015 that it was one of multiple falsified meningitis vaccines circulating in West Africa.

Pfizer acquired the vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2015.

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