The Canary Islands Health Service has suspended its annual ‘flu vaccination campaign as a precautionary measure following the detection of contamination in batches of the vaccine in other countries.
The decision by the Canary health authorities came after the vaccine, made by Novartis, was withdrawn by medical authorities in both Switzerland and Italy after impurities were found in some batches in Italy.
In an attempt to allay the fears of people in the Canary Islands who have already been vaccinated, the Director of the Canary Islands Health Service, Juana Maria Reyes, said there have been no reported cases of any adverse reaction in people who have already been vaccinated across Europe.
Chief Epidemiologist of the Directorate General of Public Health, Domingo Nunez, said that the decision to withdraw the vaccine, which totalled 250,000 doses in the Canary Islands alone, is not due to a lack of efficacy or safety, but the strict adherence to the quality control regime of vaccines.
Health authorities say they are now desperately seeking alternative sources of the vaccine, which, understandably perhaps, are, for the time being, in short supply.