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Hong Kong health care and hospitals

Hong Kong flu vaccine samples found clear of impurities after white particles were detected in Taiwan

  • Department of Health tested 1,000 samples, including 700 from affected batch
  • Authorities also released list of medical institutions that had used vaccine made by French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur
PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 9:13am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 10:27am

Flu vaccine samples in Hong Kong were tested and cleared by local health authorities after white particles were found in doses from the same batch which had been supplied to Taiwan.

The update from the Department of Health on Thursday came amid the release of a list of medical institutions, mostly under the government, that had used the flu vaccine made by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

On Tuesday, the department said about 75,000 doses from the batch concerned had been administered in Hong Kong. They were part of the 175,000 doses from the batch that had been delivered to the city’s public and private health care providers.

The revelation came after Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration on Monday said two batches of vaccines from Sanofi Pasteur had been found to contain white impurities.

75,000 doses of flu vaccine from batch containing impurities used in Hong Kong

The department collected more than 1,000 samples of the vaccine from Sanofi’s warehouse and from dispensaries at the department’s clinics for inspection on Wednesday. About 700 samples were from the affected batch, while about 300 were from other batches.

No white particles were detected in the samples, a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, vaccine samples were also collected for quality tests by the government laboratory and accredited laboratories. The results will be announced as soon as possible.

No evidence flu vaccines with impurities pose threat, health chief says

The department said preliminary information from Sanofi showed that it had not received any report regarding the white particles in the batch supplied to Hong Kong, and that there was no evidence that the quality, safety or efficacy of the vaccines had been affected.

It had asked the company to submit a full investigation report regarding the presence of white particles.

The list of medical institutions released on Thursday named 14 elderly health centres and four family clinics for the civil servants under the department; 91 public hospitals or clinics under the Hospital Authority; and facilities under the Auxiliary Medical Service.

Yee Health Company and Health-in-one, from the private sector, were also included.

How to fight the next flu pandemic: a vaccine without nurses, clinics or syringes

The list has been uploaded to the Centre for Health Protection’s website. The Hospital Authority’s hotline at 2300 6028 and the department’s hotline at 2125 1133 are available for inquiries during office hours.

All flu vaccination services were suspended at hospitals and outpatient clinics and the health department’s elderly health centres and family clinics on Tuesday. They were expected to resume gradually.

No adverse reaction related to vaccinations with the affected batch have been reported.