By Sadie Whitelocks
October 27, 2011
Preflucel has been recalled amid fears it is making people ill
A flu vaccine has been recalled from thousands of surgeries and pharmacies across Europe amid fears it is making people ill.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning over Preflucel, a popular influenza vaccine.
Around 300,000 doses of the drug are to be immediately withdrawn following fears from health bosses that the most recent batch, issued last month, is causing side-effects.
A high percentage of those vaccinated with Preflucel have reported fatigue, muscle pain and headaches.
Alternative products will now be made available to prevent any shortages.
Newbury-based Baxter Healthcare, which manufacturers the drug, approved for use in March said that patients with concerns should contact their GP.
A statement read: 'There has been a higher-than-expected reporting of adverse reactions after administration of vaccines from this batch.
'Any stock should be quarantined and returned via the normal channels.
'No further Preflucel of any batch should be administered at this time.'
In Scotland 2,500 vaccines have been recalled and Preflucel will not be issued until further notice.
In response the Scottish Government has ordered more than 1.1million doses of other flu drugs.
Despite fears, a spokesman urged people not to panic: 'This recall does not affect the flu vaccination programme, for which over 1.1 million doses of other flu vaccines have been ordered.
Experts say the side-effects are those usually associated with flu vaccines
'Individuals who have been vaccinated with Preflucel should not be concerned.
'Most of the side-effects are those usually associated with flu vaccines - they have started shortly after the vaccination and have been mild and short-lived.
'The vaccine is being recalled because these side-effects have been reported more frequently with this specific batch.'
It was labelled as suitable for patients with allergies because it does not contain egg and is expected to provide up to 80 per cent protection against influenza.
A spokesman said the recall was a 'precautionary measure' due to reports of adverse reactions.
Preflucel is one of 13 different flu vaccines being used to protect people against the winter virus.