Illnesses halt vaccine for under-5s

NZ Herald Apr 26, 2010

Australian authorities are investigating the death of a Queensland toddler within 12 hours of her receiving a seasonal influenza vaccination. New Zealand’s Health Ministry has told doctors not to give the Fluvax brand of vaccine to children under 5, after the Australian government ordered a halt in that age group because of an unexpectedly high number of cases of fever-related seizures in Western Australia.

Three cases of fever-related seizures in children under 5 following Fluvax injections have been reported to the NZ Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring at Otago University in this flu season. Dr Pat Tuohy, the ministry’s chief adviser on child and youth health, said yesterday all three cases had been hospitalised, but he was not aware of any deaths in New Zealand. The Government is funding three brands of flu vaccine this flu season. Fluvax supplies are thought to have run low.

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