Flu shots are safe, gov’t says

The government yesterday stressed that the flu vaccinations on the Greek market posed no health threat to citizens after reports from Jerusalem earlier in the day linked the deaths of four Israelis to flu shots made by the same manufacturer. Israel’s Health Ministry later said the four deaths had not been caused by the flu jabs. «There is no cause for concern in our country but all the necessary measures have been taken to safeguard citizens’ health,» the Greek Health Ministry said. «The deaths of the four Israelis is a matter for the manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur to investigate and cannot be linked to the vaccinations in our country,» Deputy Health Minister Thanassis Yiannopoulos told Kathimerini. He said the European Union had assured Greece that the suspect batch of flu shots had only been sent to Israel. Some 800,000 people in Greece have received flu vaccinations so far this year – 700,000 made by the French manufacturer – and no complications have been reported, Dimitris Vayionas, president of the National Pharmaceutical Organization, told Kathimerini.