Rome

Over 2 mln vaccine doses halted in Italy for health concerns

'No affected vaccine distributed' says health minister

Over 2 mln vaccine doses halted in Italy for health concerns

(ANSA) - Rome, October 17 - Dutch pharmaceuticals company Crucell has halted delivery of 2.3 million doses of flu vaccine in Italy, the Italian health ministry said Wednesday. "No affected vaccine has been distributed" in Italy, Health Minister Renato Balduzzi told local television. The supplier of the vaccine, called Inflexal V, halted distribution over unexpected test results, which occurred in two out of 32 batches of vaccine that did not go to the market in Italy or elsewhere. Crucell is not a major flu-vaccine provider to Italy, said the health ministry as it prepares for the flu season. "Other companies have guaranteed to supply the needed doses in order to prevent any problems for citizens," Balduzzi said. Crucell is not the only pharmaceuticals company to halt its flu-vaccine program over health concerns. GlaxoSmithKline told ANSA Wednesday it was recalling its Infanrix Hexa distribution in 20 countries due to possible bacteria contamination. No at-risk vaccines were delivered to Italy, the company said. It added that further tests proved none of the vaccines were contaminated, and that the recall was voluntary as an added precaution. On average, 10 to 12 million Italians receive flu shots annually.

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