Medical practitioners in Malaysia have been advised to temporarily stop the use of two influenza vaccines, SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and VaxigripTetra, following a number of deaths in South Korea
Earlier today, 28 October, the Minister of Health (MOH) issued a statement about the two vaccines, asking all medical practitioners in the country to take this precautionary measure.
South Korea reported that 48 have died as of Saturday, 24 October, after getting flu shots.
The two vaccines are among the nine vaccines that are registered with MOH's Drug Control Authority, according to Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Services Datin Dr Faridah Aryani Md Yuso
"MOH would like to inform that there are nine influenza vaccine products that are registered under Malaysia Drug Control Authority, including the vaccine that is linked to the death cases in Korea which is SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and Vaxigrip Tetra," she said in the statement.
However, only the Vaxigrip Tetra, Suspension for Injection in Pre-filled Syringe is provided at MOH health facilities.
According to Dr Faridah, the manufacturer of Vaxigrip Tetra, Sanofi Pasteur, had also informed that the batch number of products used in South Korea is not available in other markets including Malaysia.
So far, there have been no deaths reported following immunisation using (quadrivalent) influenza vaccines in Malaysia
"MOH will share updates on the situation once further information is received," the statement said.
"MOH will also carry out constant monitoring through registered product quality monitoring programmes and pharmacovigilance in ensuring that the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the medicine is always guaranteed. MOH will inform the public regarding the latest updates from time to time."
The MOH decision comes after the Health Science Authority (HSA) of Singapore announced a temporary halt of the two vaccines earlier this week
While no deaths associated with influenza vaccination have been reported in Singapore, the decision to halt the use of SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and Vaxigrip Tetra is precautionary, according to HAS.