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

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

Introduction is different, but top medications for opioid addiction equally effective

November 14, 2017
With opioid addiction officially declared a public health emergency in the U.S., medical intervention to treat the illness is increasingly important in responding to the epidemic. Now, a new study concludes that two of the ...

Drugstore pain pills as effective as opioids in ER patients

November 7, 2017
Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains ...

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.