- Prescribing Advice for GPs - https://www.prescriber.org.uk -

Swine flu vaccination advice update

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued updated advice (PDF) regarding the use of the H1N1 vaccine (Pandemrix®) in children aged under 10 years.

Post marketing surveillance data from the European Medicines Agency and preliminary data from a paediatric trial were considered. The former identified a higher rate of fever in children after administration of the second dose.

JCVI now advise that children aged over 6 months and below 10 years that are healthy or in the clinical at risk groups (with the exception of those who are immunocompromised) as defined previously are offered one dose (0.25ml) of the vaccine. Children who are immunocompromised in this age group should still receive two doses (both 0.25ml) of the vaccine given at least three weeks apart.

Finally, parents are advised to monitor for signs of fever and give antipyretics should one develop. Prophylactic use of antipyretics immediately prior or shortly after vaccination is not recommended due to concerns that this may make vaccines less effective.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this change in the recommended vaccination administration. Parents should be advised about the signs of fever, the use of antipyretics and when to seek medical assistance.