Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

No Viroflu for children under 5

The Department of Health has written (PDF) to NHS colleagues advising that the influenza vaccine Viroflu® should be avoided in children aged under 5 years.

It is already recommend that Enzira® is avoided in this age group due to an increased risk of febrile convulsions. Viroflu uses the same starting antigen as Enzira and although the manufacture process is different evidence has now emerged that Viroflu is associated with a higher rate of fever than other vaccines.

The European regulatory authorities are considering adding the following precaution to the marketing authorisation:

"Due to the risk of high fever, consideration should be given to the use of alternative seasonal influenza vaccines in children under the age of 5 years. In case it is used in children, parents should be advised to monitor for fever for 2 - 3 days following vaccination".

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this precaution and use an alternative vaccine in children aged under 5 years.

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