Health Canada Lifts Temporary Vaccine Suspension

Written by admin, October 31, 2012

October 31, 2012 – No Safety Concerns Identified So Local Healthcare Providers Can Resume Administering Agriflu and FluAd Vaccines

The Peterborough Public Health has informed local healthcare providers that Health Canada has lifted its temporary suspension of Agriflu and FluAd so they can resume immunizing patients with these vaccines.

“This is very reassuring news on two counts. Firstly, no safety or effectiveness concerns were identified with the suspended vaccines, and secondly, Health Canada’s swift decision to take this precautionary measure shows how responsive our public health system when it comes to protecting the health of our residents,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “I am pleased with how well our local partners handled this situation and their impressive efforts to make sure patients and healthcare workers continued to get vaccinated.”

Health Canada announced today that it has completed its review of safety information for Agriflu and Fluad and is releasing the two seasonal flu vaccines for immediate use. As a precautionary step, the products were temporarily pulled from distribution last week by the manufacturer and held from use in flu vaccination clinics at the request of Health Canada while it investigated any possible concerns.

Health Canada found no safety issues with the vaccines based on its own testing, information provided by its European partners and the manufacturer, and its past experience with possible clumping of vaccine products.  According to the Italian health regulator, one lot of Agriflu and Fluad showed clumping of particles. This lot was never released to the market. Clumping of the kind noted in Europe is common in vaccines. Health Canada has previously seen such particles before in other vaccines and has observed no impact on their safety or effectiveness.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada will continue to work with Novartis to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines used here in Canada. To date it has received no reports of serious or unexpected adverse events related to these vaccines.

For further information, residents are encouraged to visit Public Health’s website at .


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391