The flu season is approaching and people are urged to get their shots. However, the flu vaccine produced by Norvartis is being called into question. The first recall happened in Germany. It is believed that the Norvartis flu vaccine might contained some identified particles. Though the German authorities are not sure if the virus contains harmful contaminants they are not taking any chances.
Switzerland has followed suit and is waiting on the findings before distributing the flu vaccine to their residents as well. Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said they did not find anything wrong with the flu vaccine.
The scare has crossed the ocean into Canada. Healthcare Canada has suspended the use of the Norvartis flu vaccine because of what has been happening in Europe. The Western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are affected. Fluad and Agriflu are vaccines that will be suspended, mainly due to Italy finding virus particles in the vaccines.
Health Canada is telling distributors of these Norvartis flu vaccines to wait until a full investigation has been done before proceeding with the immunizations. Fluad is mainly given to seniors because it contains an agent that boosts the immune system of older people. Agriflu is the Norvartis vaccine that is given to the general population.
Twenty percent of Canada’s flu vaccines are Norvartis flu vaccine. However, most of the flu vaccines are made by GlaxoSmithKline.
Though the above mentioned provinces have suspended the immunizations from Norvartis flu vaccine Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, said that all the flu vaccine clinics will be closed in that province. Dr. Shahab goes on to say that anyone who has already had the shot shouldn’t be concerned. No adverse effects of this vaccine have been reported in Europe so far. Saskatchewan is the only province that distributes 100 percent of the Norvartis flu vaccine to their residents.
There is no word yet on whether other provinces in Canada will be suspending their Novartis flu vaccines or if the United States will suspend their distribution of the Novartis flu vaccine.
Flu vaccines are important and they do prevent the spread of the flu, missed days at school or work because of the flu, and in some cases death. Health Canada also reported that this sort of thing happens to flu vaccines and is harmless. Canadians are urged to go ahead and get their flu shots without worry.