Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. has announced it is resuming distribution of two seasonal influenza vaccines in Canada, Fluad® and Agriflu®, following the announcement by Health Canada earlier today that it has completed its review of safety information for Agriflu® and Fluad® and is releasing the two vaccines for immediate use. As a precautionary step, Health Canada had asked Novartis to suspend distribution of Agriflu® and Fluad® on October 26, 2012.
Health Canada indicated it looked at the results of its own testing, conducted a health risk assessment, and reviewed information from its European partners as well as data submitted by Novartis in making its decision. None of the information reviewed by Health Canada indicated a safety issue.
"This is good news for Canadians who can go with confidence to get their flu vaccination," said Dr. Allison McGeer, Microbiologist and Infectious Disease Consultant at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. "Our job now as health care professionals is to make sure that any vaccination programs that were interrupted get back on track as quickly as possible, so that Canadians are protected from influenza this season."
Novartis anticipates no further interruption for those customers relying on Novartis vaccines.
"We have remained confident in the safety and efficacy of our vaccines. We are pleased that Health Canada's assessment confirms this today and we can resume shipments to customers," said John Dorsey, Head, Vaccines and Diagnostics at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. "This resumption of supply will enable healthcare professionals to keep immunizing people against seasonal influenza."