PROVINCE ADVISES NOVARTIS FLU VACCINES VERY SMALL PART OF MANITOBA INVENTORY
As a precautionary step, Health Canada asked Novartis to suspend distribution of Novartis products Agriflu and Fluad influenza vaccines in Canada until a full review of the products are completed following the detection of particles in some doses by the manufacturer.
Manitoba Health has checked the provincial inventory of 2012 flu vaccine supplies and has determined that about one per cent of stock shipped in Manitoba is from Novartis.
Manitoba Health has advised health-care providers to stop using the product until further notice. Ninety-nine per cent of flu vaccines distributed are not impacted by the suspension. There have been no serious adverse events reported to be associated with the use of Agriflu or Fluad use in Manitoba, Canada or Europe.
Based on a review of available evidence, the particles noted in the Agriflu vaccine are not thought to affect safety or effectiveness of the vaccine.
Health Canada has previously seen such particles before in other vaccines and has observed no impact on their safety or effectiveness.
Federal officials are also recommending that health-care professionals in possession of these vaccines refrain from using them until the review is complete.
In Manitoba, Agriflu accounts for about one per cent of flu vaccines distributed in Manitoba. No Fluad has been distributed for use in Manitoba.
For more information, contact Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free).