October 28, 2006

Taiwan Halts Flu Vaccine After Four Deaths

Taiwan halts flu vaccine after four Israelis die
dpa German Press Agency
Published: Monday October 23, 2006

Taipei- Taiwan on Monday ordered a halt to the use of a flu vaccine imported from France following reports that four Israeli people died after receiving the vaccine, officials said. "Before we have clear information over the safety on the use of the vaccine made by Sanofi-Aventis, we are halting the use of the vaccine effectively immediately," said Chou Chih-hua, deputy director of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

He said no more shots of Sanofi-Aventis vaccine would be given, even though there have been no local reports of illness or fatality from some 300,000 people who have received the vaccine free since last month.

CDC has imported 1.13 million does of the flu vaccine in question this year. News reports said four people in the Israeli town of Kiryat Gat, aged from 56 to 72, died of heart problems in the past week. Health authorities in Israel are investigating if the vaccine has anything to do with their death, the reports said.

Chou said the CDC has been trying to contact the French pharmaceutical company and the CDC's overseas offices since learning of the deaths in Israel.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency

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