Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is to continue a suspension on Pfizer's Prevnar and Sanofi-Aventis' ActHIB despite reviewers finding no link between the deaths of four children and the paediatric vaccines.

Earlier this week, a temporary suspension was put on the vaccines after the  children, whose ages range between six months and two years old, died after being given either Prevnar for protection against meningitis and pneumonia, ActHIB (for Haemophilus influenzae type b) or a combination of several paediatric vaccines. A swiftly-convened safety panel has now reported that it found no clear direct link between the vaccines and the deaths and there was nothing wrong with the batches used in vaccinations.

However, the suspension will stay in place, and Bloomberg quotes a health ministry official, Shuichiro Hayashi, as saying that this is a precautionary measure. Both Pfizer and Sanofi have noted that no causal relationship has been established between immunisation and the fatalities in Japan.