Amid political controversy, the Italian government took the highroad last week by suspending sales of flu vaccines when their quality and safety were called into question.
Novartis AG (NOVN) told Italian and Swiss authorities that their products were safe, although the shots did contain particle buildup. Citing Novartis’ failure to provide adequate information for the safe sale of the shots, however, the Italian Health Ministry has banned the 488,000 doses in question.
Swiss drug regulator Swissmedic followed Italy’s example and halted distribution of the vaccines just in case. Novartis is based in Basel, Switzerland.
No illnesses have been reported—a far different outcome than the fungus-contaminated steroids spreading meningitis across the United States.
Delayed Notification to Authorities