Rome

Italy bans Novartis flu vaccines amid side-effects probe

Citizens asked not to buy or use jabs for the time being

Italy bans Novartis flu vaccines amid side-effects probe

Rome, October 24 - Italian health authorities called for the immediate suspension of several influenza vaccinations on Wednesday produced by the pharmaceuticals company Novartis. The Italian Heath Ministry together with AIFA, a state agency governing the local pharmaceuticals industry, is investigating possible side effects of the vaccines, according to a statement released by the ministry. The banned pharmaceuticals include Novartis' Fluad, Agrippal and several other injectable vaccines produced for the Italian market. "Citizens are asked not to buy or use any of these vaccines until further notice", the ministry said in a statement. The statement said that the measures are purely cautionary. State body AIFA has "on the basis of the documentation presented by the company, determined the need for a probe into the quality and the safety of these products to determine whether they can cause any unwanted side effects or collateral reactions. Italy's Health Minister Renato Balduzzi is closely monitoring the situation", the statement said.

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