Asia Business Channel

Singapore halts use of South Korean flu vaccines after 48 people die

A woman wearing a facemask gets a flu shot at the Korea Association of Health Promotion in Seoul / Photo courtesy of Newsis.

 

Following the deaths of 48 people in South Korea who died after receiving seasonal flu shots, the Singapore government has decided to temporarily halt the use of two South Korean influenza vaccines as a precaution, becoming one of the first countries to publicly announce a halt of the vaccines' usage.

The South Korea government publicly reported that 48 people had recently died after getting flu their flu shots, but says it has found no direct link between the vaccine and deaths, and therefore will continue its state-run vaccination program.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health and the Health Services Authority (HAS) said that there have been no deaths in Singapore to date that have been associated with the use of SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and VaxigripTetra vaccines, and that the governments temporary halt in using these vaccines is due to an overabundance of concern and is taken as a precautionary measure.

HSA reported that it is in discussions with South Korean health authorities for updated information as South Korean health authorities and the makes of the two vaccines conduct an investigation to determine if the influenza vaccinations were a contributing factor in the deaths.

South Korea's SK Bioscience manufactures the vaccine, SKYCellflu Quadrivalent while Sanofi manufactures the other vaccine, VaxigripTetra. Representative companies for both of the South Korean manufacturers distribute the drugs in Singapore.

Singapore health authorities were quick to note in their announcements that two additional influenza vaccines have been brought into Singapore for the 2020/21-influenza season, and these drugs will be used while the South Korean vaccines are under investigation.

 

 

 

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