April 25, 2010
DOCTORS have urged the public to continue getting their flu shots and not to panic over the temporary ban on vaccinations for children under five.
Australian Medical Association vice-president Steve Hambleton said the children who had fallen ill after being vaccinated might simply have been the victims of a bad batch.
Dr Hambleton said the vaccine remained safe to use for children over five, adults and the elderly.
He said it was not possible to say at this stage what had happened in Western Australia, where 23 children had been admitted to hospital with convulsions following their injections.
”We’ve been making the vaccine for more than 30 years,” he said. ”The decision to suspend the program was a very conservative one but understandable given we’re talking about young children.
”It may have nothing to do with the vaccine at all. It may be a chance finding or a bad batch. If it’s a bad batch, it’s got to come out. If it’s something else we need to get on top of it.”
Commonwealth chief medical officer Jim Bishop announced on Friday that all seasonal flu vaccinations for children under five had been suspended.