Italy, Switzerland and Austria have banned the sale of anti-flu vaccines made by Swiss drugmaker Novartis. The move follows a report into small particles within the vaccine. The pharmaceutical giant says however that it is confident that its vaccines are safe.
In Germany, authorities are maintaining their advice to elderly people to get vaccinated, saying that 14 other vaccines can be used.
Anne-Claire Siegrist, President of the Swiss Vaccination Commission said: “The only potential risk, as we’ve seen in past years with the flu vaccine, is that particles can cause a slightly worse inflammation in the hours following the injection. Those who’ve already been vaccinated have nothing to worry about, nothing
gives us any reason to think there is a problem. But we are asking doctors to wait a day or two or three until we can confirm that there is nothing to worry about.”
The move comes as drugmakers are struggling to meet demand in Switzerland, where it’s estimated only one million out of the 1.3 million doses ordered will be delivered.
The vaccines concerned are Agrippal, Fluad and Influpozzi.