Novartis to resume distributing 2 seasonal influenza vaccines in Canada
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc is resuming distribution of two seasonal influenza vaccines in Canada, Fluad® and Agriflu® . This is post announcement by Health Canada earlier today that it has completed review of safety information for Agriflu® and Fluad® and is releasing two vaccines for immediate use.
As a precautionary step, Health Canada has asked Novartis to suspend the distribution of Agriflu® and Fluad® on October 26, 2012.
Health Canada said it looked at the results of its own testing, conducted a health risk assessment and reviewed the information from its European partners as well as data submitted by Novartis in making its decision.
Dr. Allison McGeer, Microbiologist and Infections Disease Consultant at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital said, “This is good news for Canadians who can go with confidence to get their flu vaccination.” Dr. Allison also said, “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.”
The pharmaceuticals company is anticipating no further interruption for those customers relying on vaccines of Novartis.
John Dorsey, Head, Vaccines and Diagnostics at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada, Inc said, “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.” Mr. Dorsey also said, “This resumption of supply will enable healthcare professionals to keep immunizing people against seasonal influenza.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada is now advising healthcare professionals in relation of these vaccines that they can begin to use them once again. The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada will continue working with Novartis to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines used in Canda.
Novartis Pharma is a leader in healthcare field. It is involved in discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve well-being of Canadians. The company invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada in 2011.