Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitobans reassured on flu vaccine

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THE bad news: The Novartis flu vaccine has been suspended from public use in Manitoba and everywhere else in Canada.

The good news: It's only one per cent of Manitoba's supply of flu vaccine.

Health Canada has suspended the vaccine until testing is completed following the detection of particles in some doses by the manufacturer.

"The first thing people should be aware of is the vast majority of people received a vaccine unrelated" to Novartis, Dr. Tim Hilderman said Saturday.

"We want to assure them there's no safety issue" and no adverse effects have been reported from anyone receiving a Novartis dose, said Hilderman, medical officer of health.

If anyone wants to find out what vaccine they received, every consent form records all the information, Hilderman said.

"We would direct them back to their health care provider," or to the public health nurse if they were vaccinated at a large-scale clinic.

It's rare to have this kind of a situation, he said.

Health Canada said it has previously seen such particles before in other vaccines and has observed no impact on their safety or effectiveness.

For more information, contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free).

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 28, 2012 A3

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