FDA warns of latex reactions from flu vaccines

September 17, 2010
FDA warns of latex reactions from flu vaccines

by Malik Wilson on August 26, 2010
Vaccine Daily News.com

Concerns about latex labelings have led to FDA-mandated warnings on several prominent flu vaccines.

The flu vaccines, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, are alleged to contain natural latex tips which may cause allergic reactions, the American Academy of Family Physicians reports.

GlaxoSmithKline said that that fewer flu vaccine doses would be available as a result, while Sanofi Pasteur said that shipments would be delayed by two to three weeks as a result of the new warnings.

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics also informed customers that its syringe tips may contain natural latex.

The GlaxoSmithKline manufactured Fluvarix, Sanofi Pasteur marketed Fluzone and Novartis Vaccine and Diagnostics produced Fluvirin and Argriflu are all affected, the American Academy of Family Physicians reports. Flulaval, produced by GlaxoSmithKline, was not affected.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health defines latex allergies as those originating from an allergic reaction to fluid produced naturally from the rubber tree havea resiliencies. Concern over these allergies is great in the healthcare world due to the many products containing latex in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Adverse reactions stemming from latex allergies include forms of dermatitis or latex allergy at the point of exposure.

It is estimated that one to six percent of the general population, and a higher percentage of healthcare workers, show signs of latex allergy.