A “hot lot” is the name given by anti-vaccine groups to describe a given manufacturing lot of vaccine as particularly reactive, meaning it has had a larger number of side effects than other lots of the same medicine. It is believed by some that there have been hot lots recalled and destroyed because of such serious side effects.
It is true that some lots of various vaccines have been recalled in the past, but the problem was a concern that they were not effective enough. A review of the manufacturing process suggested that the quality control wasn’t high enough and that the vaccines might not have provided adequate protection.
Our research has found only one lot of vaccine that has been recalled due to possible side effects. In
1979, at the request of the FDA, Wyeth Laboratories voluntarily withdrew lot 64201 of the DTP vaccine because of reports of eight infants in Tennessee dying of SIDS within one week of receiving this vaccine, some within twenty-four hours of administration.
However, the report noted that when compared to the same months in the previous year, the number of SIDS cases in Tennessee was not significantly increased. This suggests that the finding of increased SIDS was merely coincidental. If lot
64201 had been associated with additional cases of SIDS, then there should have been more cases than in the previous year.
For those who believe in hot lots, the subsequent actions of Wyeth lends credence to the theory that corporations can’t be trusted. As outlined in A Shot in the Dark: Why the P in the DTP Vaccine May Be Hazardous to Your Child’s Health by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, internal memos showed that Wyeth decided to never again allow a cluster of vials from one lot to be sent to a single state or health department. Limiting the distribution of vials to no more than two thousand in one geographic region would make it less likely for any cluster of side effects to be easily noticed.