Sunday, April 25, 2010

Australia Probes Seasonal Flu Vaccine Reactions In Children

Apr 23, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – Australia's chief medical officer asked providers to stop giving children under age 5 the seasonal flu vaccine made by CSL Ltd after receiving reports of fever and convulsions in kids in Western Australia who had recently been immunized.

The country's drug regulatory agency, the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA), is investigating the reports and will test samples of the vaccine that CSL has agreed to provide, Bloomberg News reported today.

CSL, an Australia-based flu vaccine producer, said in a statement today it was urgently investigating the reports along with federal and state health officials and that it has stopped distributing its pediatric vaccine to reduce the risk of inadvertent administration to children younger than 5. CSL is Australia's only flu vaccine producer, but it is one of several companies that supply seasonal flu vaccine for the Australian market.

CSL's trivalent seasonal flu vaccine covers three flu strains, including pandemic H1N1.

Over the past month, 22 children from the state were hospitalized after experiencing febrile convulsions within 12 hours of receiving the vaccine, The West Australian reported today. Health officials added that one child became seriously ill, and it was still unclear if the vaccine was the cause of the children's symptoms...