Italy Bans Four Novartis AG Flu Vaccines Amid Side-Effects Probe

Published: Oct 25, 2012

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The Italian health ministry said on Wednesday that it had imposed an immediate ban on the sale and use of four anti-influenza vaccines produced by Swiss drugs group Novartis pending tests for possible side effects. The ministry said it advised citizens not to buy or use the drugs Agrippal, Fluad, subunit Influpozzi and adjunvated Influpozzi until further notice. It said 487,738 vaccine doses were affected. The move comes after the Italian Pharmaceutical Agency decided that further tests on the products may be necessary following indications of possible side effects. Novartis was not immediately available for comment. Last week Italy's health ministry said Netherlands-based vaccine maker Crucell, a unit of U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, had suspended a delivery of 2.36 million seasonal flu vaccine doses to Italy after finding problems with two lots of it.

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