No evidence for a causal relation between the reported fatal
events in Italy and the administration of Novartis flu vaccine Fluad has been
found by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European
Medicines Agency (EMA).
During the current vaccination campaign in Italy, 19 people
were reported to have died after being given the jab. The Italian
Pharmaceutical Agency (AIFA) said, "It had been notified of 19 deaths among
people who had died following vaccination with Fluad. But preliminary tests
ruled out any contamination in two batches of the drug that were taken out of
circulation the previous week."
Fluad has been in use since 1997 and 65 million doses have
been given to people around the world. It is used in older people, over 65
years of age, especially in those who have several ailments at the same time
and are at an increased risk of health complications.
EMA said that four million doses of the flu vaccine had been
distributed for the current vaccination campaign in Italy, and the vaccine had
also been used in Austria, Germany and Spain.