Flu vaccine choice limited in children

STRICT guidelines will govern paediatric influenza vaccination this year, with immunisation providers advised to use only two of the six registered vaccines for children younger than 10 years.

Only Influvac (Abbott) and Vaxigrip (Sanofi Pasteur) can be used in children aged under five years, the TGA said.

And the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) had a “strong preference” that these trivalent seasonal flu vaccines be used up to the age of 10 years.

Fluvax (CSL), linked to a ninefold higher than expected rate of febrile convulsions (one in 100) in young children in 2010, has not been approved for children under the age of five, the TGA said.

CSL fully supports the ATAGI advice, medical director Dr Alan Paul said.

“We continue to work diligently with regulators and global experts to resolve the cause of the increased reports of febrile events associated with our 2010 influenza vaccine,