GlaxoSmithKline Pulls Swine Flu Vaccines in Canada: May “Trigger Life-Threatening Allergies”

LONDON — Pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline PLC said Tuesday it has advised medical staff in Canada to not use one batch of swine flu (influenza A virus subtype H1N1, a type of swine influenza) vaccines in case they trigger life-threatening allergies.

Company spokeswoman Gwenan White said that they issued the advice after reports that one batch of the swine flu vaccine might have caused more allergic reactions than normal.

“We have advised health care professionals not to use that batch while health authorities and GlaxoSmithKline investigate,” she said.

White said the batch at issue, which has been distributed across Canada, contains 172,000 doses of the vaccine. She declined to say how many doses had been administered before the advice to stop using them was given.

White said U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline wrote to Canadian health care professionals advising them to stop using the batch on Nov. 18. She says a total of 7.5 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in Canada.

GlaxoSmithKline is the world’s second largest drug maker by revenue. Its shares were down 0.08 percent on the London stock exchange at 1,276.50p ($21.16)

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