November 24, 2009

Some Canadian Swine Flu Vaccines Recalled Over Allergic Reactions

The WHO said on Tuesday that GlaxoSmithKline recalled a batch of swine flu vaccine in Canada after a number of severe allergic reactions surfaced, The Associated Press reported.

The recall was issued after reports that one batch of the swine flu vaccine might have caused more allergic reactions than normal, according to company spokeswoman Gwenan White.

White said GlaxoSmithKline advised health care professionals not to use the batch while health authorities investigate.

However, the batch in question has been distributed across Canada and contains 172,000 doses of the vaccine. White declined to say how many doses had been administered before the advice to stop using them was given.

The U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline wrote to Canadian health care professionals advising them to stop using the batch on Nov. 18, White said.

Meanwhile, a total of 7.5 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in Canada.

WHO officials said checks on many of the 30 deaths recorded following mass pandemic flu vaccinations did not indicate any direct link to the vaccines.

Citing data from 16 countries, The WHO said the fatalities made up only a small fraction of at least 65 million doses of swine flu vaccines that have been administered.

Experts say only one report of adverse effect had been logged for every 10,000 doses of vaccines administered.

According to the WHO, only 5 of every 100 reports of adverse effects are serious cases such as death.

GlaxoSmithKline is the world's second largest drug maker by revenue.


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