Health Ministry advises doctors to temporarily stop use of two flu vaccines

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Health Ministry (MOH) has advised medical practitioners in the country to temporarily stop the use of two influenza vaccines, namely SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and Vaxigrip Tetra following reports of death cases linked to the two products in South Korea.

Pharmaceutical Services senior director Datin Dr Faridah Aryani Md Yusof said the action was being taken as a precautionary measure.

"MOH takes note of MOH Circular No. 214/2020 issued by the Health Science Authority (HSA), Singapore on Oct 25, entitled ‘Temporary Cessation on The Use of Two Influenza Vaccines’.

"There are nine influenza vaccine products registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) including the two influenza vaccine products linked to the death cases in South Korea," she said in a statement Wednesday (Oct 28).

However, according to Dr Faridah Aryani, only the Vaxigrip Tetra, Suspension for Injection in Pre-filled Syringe is provided at the ministry’s health facilities.

She said the manufacturer of Vaxigrip Tetra, Sanofi Pasteur, had also informed that the batch number of products used in South Korea, is not available in other markets, including Malaysia.

"So far, no deaths have been reported in the country with regard to influenza vaccines (quadrivalent)," she said.

Dr Faridah Aryani said the Health Ministry also had quality monitoring programmes in place and practised pharmacovigilance to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of medicines.

She said the ministry would update the public on the situation as and when further information was obtained. - Bernama

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