Fluvax crisis illustrates reporting flaws

AN OVERHAUL of Australia’s vaccine safety surveillance, called for in the wake of the 2010 Fluvax crisis, offers an opportunity to introduce a world-leading, best-practice model, according to immunisation researcher Professor Robert Booy.

Commenting on an independent report critical of delays in adverse event reporting, Professor Booy of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance said the nation’s “sparse, passive surveillance” should be replaced by an active system.

“By that I mean endeavouring to, in real time, link the records being obtained from the immunisation register with GP presentations and hospital admissions,” he said.

The report by former Commonwealth chief medical officer Professor John Horvath found there was no safety signal from previous years that could have prepared immunisation providers for the spike in febrile convulsions in young children receiving Fluvax (CSL) in 2010.