Health Canada suspends distribution of Novartis flu shots

Saturday, October 27, 2012
By Paul Martin

by Christopher-Peter
October 26, 2012

Health Canada has asked Novartis, the maker of 20 per cent of the country’s flu vaccines, to halt distribution of two brands while they consult with European agencies about an odd finding.

Several European countries, including Italy, Germany and Switzerland, recently recalled the vaccines after seeing particles in them. The manufacturer had also reported during the summer that clumps of particles were discovered in the manufacturing process.

“It is a precautionary approach because the Europeans found something…these clumps or small particles not from outside but within the vaccine,” Dr. Paul Gully with Health Canada, said in an interview from Vancouver.

“They have obviously seen something so we are in the process of talking to them about what they saw and why we are doing what we are doing and I think in the meantime…it is prudent for us to do the same thing.”

The temporary halt of distribution involves two products – Agriflu and Fluad. The vaccines are produced in pre-filled syringes.

“We are at the beginning of the season…they are in the process of being distributed,” Gully said.

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