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ACIP Recommends Against Use of Afluria in Children Ages 6 Months Through 8 Years
Vaccine Linked to Higher Fever Incidence, Febrile Seizure Risk
By News Staff
A higher incidence of fever in children ages 5 years through 8 years also was reported during a 2009 U.S. trial of Afluria, which is antigenically similar to Fluvax and Fluvax Junior.
Use of Fluvax and Fluvax Junior was suspended in both Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.
The ACIP recommended that other age-appropriate, licensed seasonal influenza vaccine formulations be used to prevent influenza in children ages 6 months through 8 years.
If no other age-appropriate, licensed flu vaccine is available for a child age 5 years through 8 years who has a medical condition that increases his or her risk for influenza complications, the committee said Afluria may be given. However, physicians should discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination with the child's parents or caregivers before administering Afluria.
Four other seasonal vaccines are licensed for use in children in the United States:
- Sanofi Pasteur's trivalent inactivated vaccine, which is marketed as Fluzone, may be used in children ages 6 months and older;
- MedImmune's live, attenuated influenza vaccine, which is marketed as FluMist, may be used in children ages 2 years and older;
- GlaxoSmithKline's trivalent inactivated vaccine, which is marketed as Fluarix, may be used in children ages 3 years and older; and
- Novartis' trivalent inactivated vaccine, which is marketed as Fluvirin, may be used in children ages 4 years and older.
Beginning in mid- to late August, Merck expects to ship 7 million doses of the vaccine in prefilled syringes this season, said a company representative.
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