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Flu vaccinations in HK halted on vaccine flaw fears

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Staff Writer | November 29, 2018
Asia   175,000 imported doses found to contain white impurities

Flu vaccinations at all public hospitals and outpatient clinics in Hong Kong have been suspended with immediate effect after flaws were reportedly detected in a batch of imported vaccines.

The move, announced by the Hospital Authority on Tuesday, came after a batch of 175,000 imported doses of quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccines was found to contain white impurities.

However, the HA said the seasonal flu vaccination service is expected to gradually resume from Saturday.

The Department of Health had earlier told local healthcare services providers to immediately suspend using the affected batch, which was provided by French manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur with box label R3J721V and syringe label R3J72.

According to the department, some 75,000 doses from the affected batch had already been used. But, so far, there have been no reports of adverse effects arising from vaccinations using the affected doses in Hong Kong.

The HA and the Department of Health have urged residents to seek medical service at once if they feel unwell after being vaccinated.

Besides public hospitals and clinics, operators of residential care homes and visiting doctors have been told to pay attention to whether they have procured the affected vaccines.

To meet local demand, the HA has asked Sanofi Pasteur to replenish their stocks with other unaffected flu vaccines.

According to the manufacturer, no case regarding the presence of white impurities has been reported to the company, and there has been no evidence so far that the quality, safety or efficacy of the vaccines supplied to Hong Kong has been affected.

The Hong Kong health authorities have asked the pharmaceutical company concerned to submit a full investigation report on the affected vaccines.

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