Novartis back on the market

Health Canada has lifted its suspension of the flu vaccines produced by Novartis as of Wednesday.

Health Canada has lifted its suspension of the flu vaccines produced by Novartis as of Wednesday.

Here in the Interior HealthAuthority, vaccines continued as usual and only 10 per cent of vaccines used in the program were effected by the suspension. Medical health officer Dr. Trevor Corneil said the vaccine was never unsafe, but was in fact pulled from the vaccination program as a precautionary measure.

“It’s important that people who have already gotten the shot know the shots are fine,” he said.

IH actually relies more on another vaccine called Vaxigrip for their flu program, which allowed them to continue to vaccinate as usual.

Corneil said the problem arose last week when authorities in Europe noticed particulate matter was collecting in the Novartis vaccines Agriflu and Fluad. The decision was made to suspend the vaccine for an investigation into whether the clumping matter was safe or not.

“The Euopean governments said, ‘well, let’s take a precautionary approach to this,’” Corneil said. “It was completely precautionary, which was the appropriate thing to do.”

In the time between Friday, October 26 when the vaccine was suspended and Wednesday, October 31 when it was reinstated, Corneil said Health Canada did its own investigation. All evidence from Novartis trials and records of patient reactions were poured over, and no adverse reactions were found.

“No one had had any adverse reactions to that shot,” Corneil said. “There was none outside of the normal there.”

Corneil said it is not unusual to see clumping material in vaccines of any kind, and health care providers will avoid catching that matter when they draw a needle for injection. The particulates form when the components of the vaccine are combined and the needle is introduced to the vaccine fluid.

“It usually looks like little, very tiny white flakes,” he said.

The clumps are safe to inject, Corneil said, but health care providers will avoid them to keep the needle clear.

With Novartis back on the market for flue vaccines, Corneil is urging people to go get their shot, and to think of others.

“It’s not about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting others,” he said.

Some people infected with the flu can have no symptoms, but can pass it on to others with weaker immune systems – but it also protects those with healthier immune systems from missing work or other engagements due to a seasonal flu.

“Getting the flu shot will keep you from passing on those three very nasty flu bugs that are going around this year.”

For more information on where to get your flu shot, visit www.interiorhealth.ca/fluclinics.

Just Posted

Arrest on outstanding warrants leads to more

A 41-year-old man was recently arrested in Kimberley on an outstanding warrant… Continue reading

Updated: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Cranbrook

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the federal New Democratic stopped in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Kootenay ICE crack under weight of Moose Jaw Warriors

The Kootenay ICE welcomed the Moose Jaw Warriors to Western Financial Place… Continue reading

Locals Coffeehouse launches season with Saturday concert

Next installment of the popular concert series in Cranbrook set for Jan. 12, 2019

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

B.C. to allow ride hailing services to operate in 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Chocolate lab missing along Coquihalla

Brad Gibson is asking for help locating his missing dog.

B.C. connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

Most Read