For those who have not heard Dr Russell Blaylock talk about flu vaccines and brain development – go here – it is a MUST hear.
April 28, 2010 – 2:59PM
New Zealand children have suffered convulsions as officials scramble to gather information following reports of similar reactions to the flu vaccination in Australia.
Several children under five-years-old in Western Australia suffered febrile convulsions – a fit caused by a high temperature – after receiving the influenza vaccine Fluvax as part of the state’s free flu vaccination programme.
Last week, the Ministry of Health here advised doctors against using Fluvax on children.
Australia’s chief medical officer gave the same advice to doctors in that country following concerns stemming from a significant rise in the number of children developing a fever after receiving the vaccine.
Today New Zealand’s Health Ministry chief advisor for child and youth health Pat Tuohy told politicians five children had been reported to have suffered febrile convulsions in New Zealand this year.
The ministry was in regular contact with its Australian counterpart and a teleconference was scheduled for this afternoon to try and garner more information, he said.
On present advice there was no reason for children, especially those at high risk, to stop receiving other types of flu vaccines, Dr Tuohy said.
Children at a high risk were considered to be those who had an underlying chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes, or those at risk for other reasons including those from low socio-economic families.
While there had been more reports of severe reactions, including the five febrile convulsions, there were also more children receiving the vaccine and people were more likely to report reactions due to the media attention.
Dr Tuohy said it was difficult to gather data and much of the information from Australia was from media reports.
The ministry was trying to get more information so it could pass it on to the public.
Dr Tuohy described the situation as “changing”.
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore were the only countries to use the vaccine so far this year. Most northern hemisphere countries begin flu vaccines in the lead up to winter.
Over 260,000 Fluvax doses were administered in March and the ministry said supplies were now likely to be low. More supplies of alternative vaccine Vaxigrip were expected from Europe this week.