Doctors told to avoid one flu shot brand for small kids

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that doctors not use one specific brand of flu vaccine this upcoming influenza season due to problems with the vaccine in Australia and New Zealand.

Officials told the Associated Press that the flu shot, made by Australia-based pharmaceutical company CSL Biotherapies, was tied to increased rates of high fever and seizures in children vaccinated in those countries this year.

The committee advised that doctors should avoid using the CSL Biotherapies vaccine in children under eight years of age and especially in those under the age of five.

Of the 170 million doses of the vaccine made by the company for the 2010-2011 influenza season, only a small portion are expected to hit the U.S.  The AP report, however, did not specify exactly how many doses would be shipped to the U.S.

The advisory comes on the heels of a Food and Drug Administration bulletin, released last week, which listed the approved flu vaccines for this upcoming influenza season.

The brand names and manufacturers for the upcoming season’s vaccines include Afluria from CSL Limited; Agriflu from Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics; Fluarix from GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals; FluLaval from ID Biomedical Corporation; FluMist from MedImmune Vaccines Inc.; Fluvirin from Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited; and Fluzone and Fluzone High-Dose from Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

Vaccines for the 2010-2011 seasonal influenza contain strains from the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus, A/Perth /16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus and B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.