Intended for healthcare professionals


Australia suspends seasonal flu vaccination of young children

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 04 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2419
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

    Australia has extended a suspension of vaccination of children aged 5 years and under against seasonal flu, pending further investigations into an apparent spike in febrile convulsions associated with the vaccine.

    A temporary suspension was first announced on 23 April, after concerns emerged in Western Australia about an increase in the number of young children presenting to hospitals with febrile convulsion after receiving the trivalent seasonal flu vaccine.

    The federal government’s chief medical officer, Jim Bishop, announced on 30 April that more time was needed to complete epidemiological and scientific investigations.

    “Given the ongoing and incomplete scientific and clinical case review, the moratorium on the use of seasonal influenza vaccine in children 5 years and less will continue,” he said.

    Figures released by the national Department of Health and Ageing show that 77 cases of febrile convulsion in children aged 5 or under and associated with the vaccination have recently been reported to the Therapeutic Goods …

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