Switzerland lifts delivery stop on Novartis flu vaccines

ZURICH Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:18am EDT

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ZURICH Oct 31 (Reuters) - Switzerland's health watchdog said on Wednesday it had lifted a ban on the delivery of Novartis' flu vaccines imposed last week after the drugmaker presented evidence supporting the vaccines' safety and efficacy.

Last week, Italy banned the sale of four anti-influenza vaccines produced by Novartis pending tests for possible side effects after small particles were found in some of the injections.

Swissmedic said Novartis had handed over documents showing that small particles found in the vaccines were the product of normal protein particles and not external impurities.

"According to the scientific data presented to us, the safety of the vaccines is not compromised by the stray aggregates," Swissmedic said in a statement.

After Italy acted, other countries including Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain and France followed suit by suspending deliveries, recommending the use of alternative products or recalling batches of the vaccines. (Reporting by Caroline Copley)

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