Italy has partially banned an influenza vaccine manufactured by Swiss pharmaceutical Novartis. The decision came leading the mysterious death of three people who had been injected with the vaccine.

The Italian Medical Agency (AIFA) said three people were killed and a fourth was seriously ill within 48 hours of receiving doses of vaccine FLUAD, The doses belonged to two specific lots whose origin was not specified.

After the deaths, AIFA made the decision to prohibit sell, distribution and use of all vaccines from the two lots, saying it was a precautionary measure while a “possible causal linkis investigated.

Novartis said in a statement that it was notified about the measure implemented by the Italian authorities and said it has not established whether the vaccine has any relation to the deaths.

“A review of the two batches confirmed that they meet all standards of production and quality,”said Novartis.

The company is working with the  Italian Medical Agency to further evaluate the situation,” the statement added.

On its website, Novartis assures the public that FLUAD is indicated for active immunization against influenza in individuals 65 years and over, and that it currently holds a license in 35 countries in the European Union (EU), Latin America, Asia and Canada. “

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