Health Canada Approves Pandemic H1N1 Flu Vaccine

OTTAWA - Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced that Health Canada has approved Arepanrix, a vaccine against the H1N1 flu virus.

This means that the adjuvanted vaccine has been judged safe and effective for use in Canada by both the Canadian manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, as well as by the Health Canada regulator.

“This is a milestone in our efforts to fight the pandemic H1N1 flu virus," Aglukkaq said Oct. 21.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are working with provincial and territorial governments to deliver the H1N1 flu vaccine to health care facility sites to begin immunization programs.

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, also noted that the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and the regulatory and public health agencies of other countries are working together to ensure that appropriate control measures are in place to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and to ensure the timely communication of any potential adverse events following immunization.