Novartis flu shots OK'd by Health Canada
Provinces that either suspended their flu shot clinics or turned to alternative companies can resume normal operations
It's safe to use two seasonal flu vaccines that were pulled from distribution, Health Canada says.
Novartis temporarily withheld Agriflu and Fluad products last week as a precaution after anomalies were found in batches of the vaccines made in Italy.
"Health Canada looked at the results of its own testing, conducted a health risk assessment, and reviewed information from its European partners and data submitted by Novartis in making its decision," the department said in a release Wednesday.
"None of the information reviewed indicated a safety issue."
The Public Health Agency of Canada said health care professionals can start to use the vaccines again, following labelling directions such as:
- Allow the vaccine to come to room temperature before use.
- Shake the products.
- Check for any white floating material before injecting.
In Canada, Agriflu is authorized for use in people older than six months. Fluad is licensed for use in Canadians 65 years of age or older.
Fluad contains an adjuvant or booster that health officials say is more effective at preventing flu in seniors, who do not mount the same immune response as other adults.
Following the announcement, Saskatchewan said that it would resume offering flu clinics it cancelled last week. Alberta is also reinstating use of Agriflu.
Novartis is supplying 20 per cent of Canada's total flu vaccine supply this year.
With files from the Canadian Press