Flu clinics continue with other vaccines

Novartis accounts for about 30 per cent of B.C.'s vaccine supply

Flu shot clinics will continue although some of B.C.'s vaccine supply was pulled from use after concerns were raised about its efficacy.

Flu clinics are proceeding in the Lower Mainland despite a decision to suspend the use of vaccine made by Novartis after concerns were raised over its effectiveness.

Novartis-made flu vaccine accounts for about 30 per cent of the province’s supply but Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall said B.C. has should have enough from other manufacturers to cover everyone who wants to be immunized.

He said there are no concerns as to the safety of Novartis vaccines for those who have already had the flu shot, and described the suspension – recommended by Health Canada – as a precautionary measure.

B.C. health ministry officials said there’s been no sign of irregularities yet in tests of the Novartis vaccine from B.C. stocks and said it could go back into circulation if it’s cleared for use in the days ahead.

Update: Health Canada on Wednesday morning lifted its advisory to withhold use of Novartis vaccine.

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