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2014 seasonal influenza vaccines

12 March 2014

Influenza vaccines can change from year to year as new strains of influenza virus appear. This is one reason vaccination against influenza is given every year.

Following a review of the strains of influenza that were circulating in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee recommended that the TGA should adopt the September WHO recommendations. Details of the strains were announced on the TGA website on 11 October 2013. There have been changes to two of the strains in the 2014 vaccine compared with the 2013 vaccine. The influenza strains in the 2014 vaccines are the same as the strains in the 2013/14 influenza vaccines used in the recent Northern Hemisphere winter.

For the 2014 influenza season, the TGA has registered six vaccines for use in the following age groups:

Sponsor - Vaccine Age group
Abbott Australasia - Influvac* 6 months and over
GlaxoSmithKline - Fluarix 6 months and over
Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics - Agrippal 6 months and over
Sanofi-Pasteur - Vaxigrip* 6 months and over
bioCSL - Fluvax** 5 years and over**
Sanofi-Pasteur - Intanza 18 to 59 years

* These vaccines also have a paediatric ('junior') presentation registered for use in children aged 6 to 35 months.

** Febrile events have been observed in children aged 5 to under 9 years after immunisation with bioCSL Fluvax. Therefore, in this age group, a decision to vaccinate with the 2014 bioCSL Fluvax vaccine should be based on careful consideration of potential benefits and risks in the individual.

For further information on individual vaccines, please refer to the relevant Product Information document or Consumer Medicine Information document.

For further information about the use of seasonal influenza vaccines in children please refer to the TGA's web statement, 2014 seasonal influenza vaccines for use in children.

The TGA is reviewing surveillance data from the Northern Hemisphere to ensure there have been no unexpected adverse events related to the strains in the 2014 vaccines and, in conjunction with the States and Territories, will be closely monitoring adverse event reports once the influenza vaccination program commences.

Reporting of adverse events following influenza vaccine

Health professionals and consumers are encouraged to report all adverse events associated with influenza vaccination in patients of any age to the TGA or through the current arrangements in their State or Territory.

All reports contribute to the TGA's ongoing monitoring of the safety of influenza vaccines.

The TGA cannot give advice about an individual's medical condition. You are strongly encouraged to talk with a health professional if you are concerned about a possible adverse event associated with a vaccine or medicine.