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Influenza vaccines import halted

Update: December, 07/2012 - 13:16

HCM CITY (VNS)– HCM City's Health Department has decided to block the import of several Swiss made influenza vaccines.

The department also asked preventative health care centres in the city to postpone the usage of the flu vaccines Fluad, Agrippal, Influpozzi Sub-Unity and adjuvanted Influpozzi, produced by Swiss drug maker Novartis Vaccines and Diagnosis Srl.

The decision came following the discovery by the Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA) that agglomerations of small, white proteins in batch injections had collected in the flu vaccines Agrippal and Fluad.

The problem prompted the Italian government to ban not only Agrippal and Fluad, but also Influpozzi and adjuvanted Influpozzi.

A number of European countries followed Italy's decision to temporarily ban the drug, including Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and France.

The Italian agency and European Medicine Agency are examining if the problem effects the safety and efficiency of the vaccines. The agencies will decide if the tainted vaccines should be recalled completely.

Protein aggregates are a major concern if they come during the manufacturing or storage of the vaccines, as they can be associated with severe immune responses. – VNS

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