Novartis insists its flu vaccines are safe

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis insisted early Thursday that its flu vaccines were safe despite a sales ban by Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

"Novartis confirms its confidence in the safety and efficacy of its seasonal Agrippal and Fluad," the company said in a statement released overnight.

On Wednesday, Italian, Swiss and Austrian authorities stopped sales of the vaccines pending tests into possible side effects.

The alarm was first raised in Italy after white particles were seen in syringes carrying the vaccines, but Novartis stressed that "these particles can occur in the vaccine manufacturing process," adding it was "confident that there is no impact on the safety or efficacy of the vaccine."

The company said it had voluntarily provided Italian health authorities with its assessments "supporting the quality, efficacy and safety" of the vaccines, and that it would continue working with them in a bid to understand their decision to put a freeze on the vaccines.

Shortly after the Italian decision, the Swiss national drug agency Swissmedic also ordered an "immediate halt" of the vaccines due to "possible impurities", and were followed by Austrian .

The Swiss decision affects some 160,000 , Swissmedic said.

Novartis meanwhile stressed that it was "fully committed to providing high quality vaccines to patients and will continue to work with the authorities to make vaccines available."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novartis denies problems with swine flu vaccine

Oct 26, 2009

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis on Monday denied that it faced hurdles in gaining regulatory approval in Switzerland for one of its swine flu vaccines because of possible bacterial contamination.

EU drug agency: License 2 swine flu vaccines

Sep 25, 2009

(AP) -- The European Union's drug regulator recommended Friday that two swine flu vaccines be licensed in the 27-nation bloc to ensure their availability before the start of the normal flu season.

WHO: Swine flu vaccine on track

Aug 06, 2009

(AP) -- Swine flu vaccine manufacturers are on track to start delivering the first batches of it in September, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gord4356
not rated yet Oct 27, 2012
I was with the Canadian Forces in 2009, was ordered to get the H1N1 shot (AREPANRIX by GSK GlaxoSmithKline) and had an adverse reaction to the vaccine. I received PERMANENT neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory symptoms: dizziness, vertigo, irregular heart rhythms, shortness of breath, muscle weakness and pain, and numbness in hands and feet. My physical fitness changed from special forces fit to that of a 70 year old in a matter of days.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.