U.S. bans CSL influenza vaccine

Following febrile fits and deaths in children, the United States and Europe have banned an influenza vaccine for use in children produced by CSL, Ltd..

European health officials and the Australian Health Department recommend only using the vaccine, called Afluria, on children over the age of five. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices says children under nine should not be exposed to the vaccine, according to the Business Spectator.

CSL halted its H1N1 vaccine distribution in Australia following government concerns. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that 23 children in Perth were affected with fever and convulsions following injection.

It is unclear whether or not there will be a shortage of vaccine this season for different age groups. There are spot shortages every year but overall national supply should not be a problem, ACIP Chair Carol Baker said, according to CIDRAP.

Australian Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop told CIDRAP that authorities are seeking more information from CSL and trying to confirm which batches were used in Western Australia.

In a statement, CSL said that it is working with government officials to investigate the problems.

“The company takes the safety and quality of its products seriously and will provide more information as soon as possible," the statement read, according to the Wall Street Journal.