The Japanese health ministry has halted the use of some vaccines made by Sanofi-Aventis and Pfizer.
That followed the deaths of four children shortly after they had been immunised against meningitis and pneumonia, with Pfizer’s Prevenar and Sanofi’s ActHIB, in some cases in combination with other vaccines.
It is unclear if there was a link between the deaths and the vaccines, but use of them will be temporarily suspended while the deaths are investigated, the health ministry said.
Pfizer and Sanofi both said they are cooperating with the investigation.
In February last year health authorities in the Netherlands said no relation was found between Prevenar and the deaths of three infants there who had received the vaccine.