Switzerland, Canada lift ban on Novartis flu vaccine

October 31, 2012

Swiss and Canadian health authorities on Wednesday lifted a ban on sales of flu vaccines made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis after determining they were safe and efficient.

"The partially visible white particles are in no way external impurities, but are agglutinations of ordinary of the vaccine," Switzerland's national drug agency Swissmedic said in a statement.

Novartis provided what it said was a statement from the Canadian authorities.

The of Canada said in the statement it had lifted their freeze after determining they were safe, saying it was "now advising in possession of these vaccines that they can start using them once again."

Last week, Italy first froze the sale and use of Novartis's Fluad and Begripal flu vaccines after white particles were seen in syringes carrying them, and Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain and Canada soon followed suit.

Swissmedic stressed Wednesday though that "such (particles) can in effect be created during the manufacturing of the vaccine, but dissolve if the syringe is used in conformity with instructions," pointing out that the syringe should be lightly shaken before use.

"The security and efficiency of the vaccine are in no way weakened by these (particles) present in some syringes," it said, adding that its own labs had tested the vaccines and had confirmed their quality.

Some 160,000 doses of the vaccines were affected by last week's freeze in Switzerland alone, according to Swissmedic.

Novartis said Wednesday it was "pleased" at Switzerland and Canada's decisions to resume use of its vaccines.

"We have always remained confident in the safety and efficacy of our vaccines," the company said, adding that it now was "working with the Swiss and Canadian Authorities to resume full distribution as soon as possible to protect against seasonal influenza."

" is working diligently with other to address their questions and resume distribution," it added.

Explore further: Novartis insists its flu vaccines are safe

Related Stories

Novartis insists its flu vaccines are safe

October 25, 2012
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis insisted early Thursday that its flu vaccines were safe despite a sales ban by Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

Italy, Switzerland, Austria freeze sales of Novartis flu vaccines

October 24, 2012
Italian, Swiss and Austrian authorities on Wednesday halted the sale of flu vaccines made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Germany orders recall of some Novartis flu shots

October 25, 2012
(AP)—German authorities ordered a recall Thursday of some batches of Novartis flu vaccine as a precautionary measure after the company reported the appearance of small particles in the manufacturing process.

Recommended for you

Drug for spinal muscular atrophy prompts ethical dilemmas, bioethicists say

December 11, 2017
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for people with spinal muscular atrophy a year ago, clinicians finally had hope for improving the lives of patients with the rare debilitating muscular disease. ...

FDA's program to speed up drug approval shaved nearly a year off the process

December 7, 2017
Speeding the pace at which potentially lifesaving drugs are brought to market was a rallying cry for Donald Trump as a candidate, and is a stated priority of his Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. ...

Dangers of commonly prescribed painkillers highlighted in study

December 6, 2017
Commonly prescribed painkillers need to be given for shorter periods of time to reduce the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation, a new study has revealed.

Viagra goes generic: Pfizer to launch own little white pill

December 6, 2017
The little blue pill that's helped millions of men in the bedroom is turning white. Drugmaker Pfizer is launching its own cheaper generic version of Viagra rather than lose most sales when the impotence pill gets its first ...

Surgery-related opioid doses can drop dramatically without affecting patients' pain

December 6, 2017
Some surgeons might be able to prescribe a third of opioid painkiller pills that they currently give patients, and not affect their level of post-surgery pain control, a new study suggests.

Four-fold jump in deaths in opioid-driven hospitalizations

December 4, 2017
People who end up in the hospital due to an opioid-related condition are four times more likely to die now than they were in 2000, according to research led by Harvard Medical School and published in the December issue of ...

0 comments

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.