Read Time:1 Minute, 2 Second 2014-11-28 04:53:05

ROME, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — The Italian competent authority for drugs (AIFA) on Thursday blocked the use of two lots of a flu vaccine after three people died for reasons potentially linked to the drugs.

AIFA prohibited the use of lots of FLUAD vaccine numbered 142701 and 143301 after four “serious and deadly cases”, including three deaths, were reported which might have been caused by the drugs.

“The three fatalities occurred within 48 hours of the administration of doses from two lots,” AIFA said in a statement published on its website.

The statement said that the move was carried out only “for precaution” while waiting for results of the tests carried out on the suspicious lots, which were produced at a plant of Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis in the city of Siena.

Two of the three deaths occurred in Sicily, while the other was in Molise, two regions in southern Italy, according to sources from ANSA news agency.

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