Malaysia halts use of 2 flu vaccines after deaths in S Korea

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has temporarily ceased the use of two influenza vaccines as a precautionary measure, following the deaths of several people who received flu shots in South Korea.

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The decision by the health ministry (MoH) comes after Singapore had also announced a halt of the two vaccines, SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and VaxigripTetra, earlier this week.

Senior director for pharmaceutical services Dr Faridah Aryani said there were only nine influenza vaccine products registered under the Drug Control Authority in the country, including the two vaccines associated with the deaths in South Korea.

“Only VaxigripTetra, which was suspended through injection in a pre-filled syringe, was supplied to health facilities under the ministry,” she said in a statement today.

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Faridah added that Sanofi Pasteur, the pharmaceutical company that produces VaxigripTetra, had announced that the batch number for the vaccines used in South Korea were not available in the other countries, including Malaysia.

“As of now, no deaths have been reported following the influenza vaccine immunization (quadrivalent) in the country.

“However, as a precautionary measure, the health ministry advises all medical practitioners to temporarily halt the use of the vaccine products SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and VaxigripTetra.”

Faridah said MoH would provide updates on the situation after further information was obtained.

Meanwhile, she said the ministry was continuously conducting quality checks on registered health products to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medicines in the country. – FMT

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