Health Canada reviews flu vaccines, but Alberta flu immunization clinics continue.
Published Saturday, October 27, 2012 11:48AM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 27, 2012 6:51PM MDT
Alberta Health Service is taking the advice of Health Canada and will immediately suspend the use of one of three flu vaccines it has in stock, however it’s not anticipated this will have any impact on Alberta's flu vaccination clinics.
Dr. Martin Lavoie, Alberta’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health says “there have been no reports of any adverse affects in Alberta”.
AHS says it will be business as usual at its flu vaccination clinics and that the flu vaccine are under review by Health Canada, only makes up 22% of the flu vaccine supply in Alberta. The other two vaccines, Fluviral and FluMist will continue to be available at flu vaccination clinics.
The vaccines, Agriflu and Fluad, are made by Novartis and are under review. Alberta has a supply of Agriflu and Alberta Health Services doesn't know how many people received the Agriful vaccine before it was suspended.
Health Canada has asked health professionals not to use the affected vaccine, as well, it has asked vaccine maker Novartis to halt distribution of its vaccines.
Several European countries, including Italy, Germany and Switzerland, suspended distribution of the vaccines this week, after noticing the clumps. European health officials expect to have their investigation into what’s causing the clumps completed in a couple of days.
Health Canada also says that particles in vaccine vials are not uncommon and have no known impact on safety or effectiveness. It said it requested the distribution halt until a full review of the situation could be completed.
There is no indication anyone has gotten sick from the vaccine in question.
Saskatchewan is temporarily suspending all its flu shot clinics.
Novartis supplies about 20 per cent of Canada’s flu vaccines. GlaxoSmithKline makes the bulk of Canada's seasonal flu vaccine, though there are also a few other suppliers.