The number of people who have died in Italy after being administered a flu vaccine made by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has risen to 13.

The Italian Medical Agency (AIFA) has warned against panic and stressed there is not proof yet that it was the vaccine that led to the deaths.

However it said it had banned two batches of the product – called FLUAD – as a precautionary measure, pending further studies.

AIFA said the European Medical Agency would start examining the problem today, and would report back on Thursday.

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