Warnings for GPs over usage of flu vaccine in children
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has warned its members to be wary when administering the influenza vaccine to children under 5.
In a member communication, they have confirmed that there have been off-label usage of influenza vaccines Fluarix Tetra and Fluvax which poses a safety risk for children.
The RACGP says the GSK Fluarix Tetra is being incorrectly administered to children under 3 years (including half doses of the vaccine). The vaccine isn’t registered for this age group.
The Seqirus’ (BioCSL) Fluvax is also being incorrectly administered to children.
According to the Influenza Fact sheet from the Department of Health:
FluQuadri Junior® (Sanofi Pasteur) is for children from six months to under three years of age is presented in a 0.25 mL pre-filled syringe.
Fluarix® Tetra (GSK) for people aged three years and older is presented in a 0.5 mL pre-filled syringe.
In order to minimise vaccination accidents, the RACGP recommends:
- Ensure children’s vaccines are quarantined and clearly labelled in the vaccine fridge
- Ensure two clinical staff check each vaccine before administration
- Read the Australian Technical Advisory Group’s statement on influenza vaccines
- Discuss with your practice about practical steps to ensure patients receive the correct vaccine every time.