EOHU assures residents that flu vaccines are safe
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is reassuring residents that seasonal flu vaccines being administered this season are safe. The temporary suspension of two vaccines by Health Canada is a precautionary measure and Ontario’s annual flu immunization campaign continues to protect Ontarians from the flu. Click here to read a Q&A about the suspension of Fluad and Agriflu vaccines (from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care).
The flu vaccines affected by the suspension, Fluad and Agriflu, are manufactured by Novartis. “There is no evidence that there is any risk associated with these Novartis vaccines,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “The action taken by Health Canada to temporarily suspend the distribution and use of these vaccines is a precautionary measure and is not related to any health risks having been directly observed.”Dr. Roumeliotis reminds all residents of Eastern Ontario that the EOHU has sufficient supply of the other two flu vaccines, Fluviral and Vaxigrip, to ensure that every person in the region can be immunized. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free influenza vaccines.”
Late Friday, public health units, pharmacies, doctors and other healthcare practitioners in the province were asked by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to temporarily suspend the use of two Novartis products (Fluad and Agriflu) as advised by Health Canada. Ontario's influenza (flu) vaccine supplies are not overly affected by the temporary suspension of Fluad and Agriflu which represent only 18 per cent of Ontario’s supply. Ontario offers two other publicly funded vaccines not affected by the federal suspension which make up the other 82 per cent of Ontario's supply, including Eastern Ontario. The province is working closely with the federal government and provincial health partners to monitor this situation.Ontario’s flu shot is an annual immunization against the influenza flu viruses expected to circulate for that year. Flu immunization in Ontario started a few weeks ago and no serious or unexpected adverse health reactions have been reported for any of the vaccines being used, including those from Novartis. For more information about the EOHU’s community flu clinics, click here. You can also call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120 and ask for Health Line.
Ontarians who have already had their flu shots and have concerns can call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, TTY: 1-866-797-0007.