Authorities have responded over concerns about Australian vaccines after several people died in South Korea after getting flu shots.
As of Saturday, Reuters reports that 48 have died in the Asian country after receiving a vaccine – although a direct link is yet to be established.
On Monday, Singapore announced that they were halting the use of two of their vaccines in the wake of the deaths.
The use of SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and Vaxigrip Tetra has been halted in Singapore, despite no deaths associated with the vaccinations in their own country being reported.
The Health Sciences Authority is working with South Korean authorities to determine if there is a direct link between the deaths there and the vaccines.
Vaxigrip Tetra is approved for use in Australia with the Therapeutic Goods Administration providing a statement to 7NEWS.com.au on the matter.
“Vaxigrip Tetra is approved for use in Australia and was funded under the National Immunisation Program during the 2020 influenza season for patients aged 6 months and over,” a TGA spokesperson said.
“The TGA has not received any adverse event reports with an outcome of death linked to vaccination with Vaxigrip Tetra in Australia.”
In both South Korea and Singapore, the vaccine is formulated for the Northern Hemisphere 2020/2021 influenza season.
This means it will have a different composition than the vaccine we get here in Australia.
“It is worth noting that the influenza vaccines currently in use in Singapore and South Korea are formulated for the Northern Hemisphere 2020/2021 influenza season and have a different composition for influenza-A virus strains compared to the 2020 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccines,” the spokesperson said.
“At the present time, the TGA has no information to suggest that regulatory action is warranted in the Australian context.”
The spokesperson also indicated that they were continuing to monitor the safety of vaccines and investigate what happened in South Korea.
“The TGA is continuing to monitor the safety of Vaxigrip Tetra, including liaising with our international regulatory counterparts to obtain more information about the events that have reportedly lead to the suspension of supply of Vaxigrip Tetra in Singapore by the Health Sciences Authority,” the statement said.
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