GPs warned over child flu vaccines


There have been reports some youngsters have been given the wrong seasonal flu jab

GPS are being urged to take care with the seasonal flu jab after reports some youngsters have been given the wrong one.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) said it was aware of a handful of cases recently where children were given flu vaccines unsuitable for their age group.

Over the last five years, the MDU has received 108 reports of errors in immunising children using all types of jab, including against meningitis.

Some of the jabs in the seasonal flu vaccine programme are not licensed for children under four.

Last year, the Department of Health published a warning against using some flu vaccines after reports some youngsters suffered febrile convulsions following the jab.

Officials said it was important youngsters aged over six months in at-risk groups – such as those with asthma or a compromised immune system – received the vaccine, but care should be taken to use the right one.

The department warned against giving the jabs Enzira or CSL Biotherapies generic influenza vaccine, marketed by Pfizer, to children under five. There are around 10 flu vaccine brands in use.

A statement from the MDU said: “The MDU has received a number of calls from members on its advice line recently where there has been a mix-up over the type of vaccine administered to children.

“In addition, a survey of cases reported to the MDU has revealed that 108 immunisation errors were reported over the last five years. Of these, 98 (90%) involved children and three concerned doctors administering the incorrect seasonal influenza vaccine to children.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “The NHS does an excellent job in delivering the seasonal flu vaccination programme. Reducing the administration errors to even lower levels would help improve the programme further. It is the responsibility of the doctor or nurse giving the vaccine to check and ensure it is the right vaccine for the patient.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.