Authorities are no closer to determining what caused hundreds of adverse reactions in the under 5s receiving the 2010 trivalent influenza vaccine.

But investigations are being hampered somewhat, due to a software glitch which has prevented optimum recording of doses on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR).

A spokesperson for Medicare Australia, which administers ACIR, said they were aware that software had affected the transmission of data from some practices, and were advising all providers to review products.

The Western Australian Department of Health issued a letter to providers on May 6th;

“One of the major deficiencies in interpreting the data is the lack of reliable information on numbers of children vaccinated, including the brand and batch of vaccine used. This has arisen because of problems with the transfer of influenza vaccination data from practice software systems to the ACIR.”
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“Better data on total numbers of children vaccinated and the brands/batches used will allow calculation of rates of adverse events, and a clearer determination as to whether the risk is truly elevated compared to expectation (e.g. relative to the 2008 and 2009 WA programs and international experience), and whether any increase is specific to a particular vaccine brand or batch used.”

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They are also asking for providers to supply them with the numbers of children having received the vaccine manually.

“Because uncertainty remains as to how effective the ACIR upload approach may be, WA DoH would be very grateful if you could also complete the attached form, indicating numbers of children vaccinated with a trivalent influenza vaccine between the dates of 8 March and 23 April 2010, by age group, vaccine brand and batch. This information will also help to clarify how well influenza vaccination data entered in practice software systems is being transferred to ACIR.”

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The latest figures indicate 400 cases of fever and 77 convulsions in five states. Those reports led the Chief Medical Officer to suspend flu vaccination in all children younger than five years.

Associate Professor Richmond, a consultant at Princess Margaret hospital, (where most of the cases have appeared), and head of the WA influenza vaccine trial, said the adverse events this year appeared excessive compared to last year when 60,000 children – around half of the eligible cohort – received free influenza vaccine funded by the West Australian Government.

“The original whole flu virus seemed to be associated with more fevers, but now the virus gets split. So that will be something people will be looking at – is there more or less flu virus in this year’s vaccine which could be causing problems.”

However, some children who presented at hospital with high fever had gone on to have a second dose of vaccine without incident, he said.

In Australia the flu season is rapidly approaching, resulting in a rush on the vaccine for those still eligible and a subsequent exhaustion of supplies.

Those most vulnerable to such flu complications are adults over 65, especially those in nursing homes and kids under 2. Kids under 5 have been at higher risk of swine flu complications.

In Australia in 2009 there 47, 736 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza and so far in 2010 there have been 488.


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  • oh please!

    Sorry Bob, I was distracted by your diversion
    But enough about software: I expect the Meryl Dorey/Jenny McCarthy/J. B. Handley antivax brigade to leap all over this
    .
    I can understand why you don’t wish to pursue the McCarthy issue in too much depth so we’ll leave it alone.
    .
    I actually found my self nodding in agreement with the remainder of your comment until I read the last sentence.
    Never mind.
    I also assume that you have been privvy to information that I ahve not (from your closing sentence) that this trivalent influenza vaccine that is under investigation is safe.

  • Bob

    I scanned through them again, and no oh_please, I found you’ve presented no evidence of lying or wrongdoing. You’ve made a lot of baseless claims and ad hominems however, and I suspect that’s all you have.
    .
    I’m not going to answer your questions about McCarthy because they’re nothing but a diversion.
    .

    One unfortunate child died 12 hours after the injection. This was many weeks ago. Did we make the assumption that the vaccine was the cause? Heck no! Investigations are still ongoing, weeks later!

    .

    If you want to establish the cause of death, one should make no assumptions and follow where the evidence leads. The tragic case of Natalie Morton shows precisely why it is not good enough to assume you know the answer without actually investigating. Correlation does not imply causation.
    .

    Which brings us back round to the original topic – public health surveillance. Problems with data interchange that affect public health surveillance are unacceptable and calling the software failure a ‘glitch’ trivializes it. This sort of health monitoring is vital to a defense-in-depth approach to drug safety so no one has to take it on faith that vaccines, etc. are safe and effective. And conversely, when someone starts shrieking that vaccines are unsafe, the evidence shows how wrong they are.

  • Yes, but it was only in the research stage. It wasn’t released as a vaccine. We may never know what happened or why – but that doesn’t mean we have to assume a genocidal conspiracy. As much as it sounds like a cop-out, it might just as easily have been some idiotic error as a result of someone not doing their job properly. If we never know then we’ll never know.

  • oh please!

    The material was one of the main ingredients of the vaccine used on the ferrets. The intention was to use this material in vaccines they were testing.
    The vaccine they used on the ferrets was contaminated with bird flu virus.
    Baxter have blamed human error
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14709
    I think we’ll never know what really happened.

  • Andy the vaccine was contaminated with bird flu virus.
    .
    The link you supplied makes no mention of a contaminated vaccine. It confirms what I said – it was research “material” and also notes that Baxter do make H5N1 vaccine.
    .
    The contaminated product, which Baxter calls “experimental virus material,” was made at the Orth-Donau research facility.
    .
    That’s not to say something isn’t smelly. But calling it a contaminated vaccine makes it seem like doctors were injecting this into humans when the story you linked suggests it was being used in research labs – perhaps with a view to producing vaccines.

  • oh please!

    I understand why the %, on it’s own, irrelevant.

    I figure each figure (vacc and unvacc) as a percentages of the total population (vacc and unvacc)would be more important. Is that what you mean in the last sentence?

    One would expect the unvacc % to be quite a bit higher than the vacc. The difference should mirror the claim for the effectiveness of the vaccine.
    It’s be nice to have some figures to work with.

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  • it would be interesting to see how many of those with whooping cough have been vaccinated. If history is any guide it’ll be a high percentage of them.
    .
    It may well be – but that percentage, on its own, is irrelevant.
    .
    More important is to compare the percentages of those who are vaccinated who got the disease compared to those who are not vaccinated who got it. Don’t fall for Dorey’s syllogistic arithmetic on this one.

  • oh please!

    Andy the vaccine was contaminated with bird flu virus.
    This is the most accurate story I can find at the moment
    http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/02/27/8560781.html
    I have just now searched a bit for news on the results of any investigations (it says in the article that 4 countries were investigating) but have failed so far.
    Baxter doesn’t help the situation by not saying anything that would shed some light – it makes them seem guilty of of something.
    .
    And yes they were for research.

  • oh please!

    Bob, lovely to hear from you.
    Do I have evidence….?
    You said you read my previous posts here, read them again.
    And I agree, skepticism is a good thing. The easiest way to address one’s skepticism is to follow all the other lemmings, to go with the flow as it were. Unfortunately, at least in this case, they don’t appear to be heading in the right direction. But be comforted by the fact that you are surrounded by fellow lemmings, heading in a similar direction to you.
    I note that you didn’t bother responding to any of my questions regarding McCarthy, so I’ll have a go at answering them on your behalf, let me know if I make any errors.
    McCarthy is not directly responsible for any of the deaths on the so called “body count”. Although it is probably not relevant, the parents of most of the deceased may not even be aware of McCarthy’s views on vaccination.
    The so called “body count” was established by an individual in an attempt to show that he disagreed with McCarthy’s views on vaccination.
    The so called “body count” counts the number of deaths attributed to diseases for which there are vaccines available.
    .
    You may have more information on this next bit but it seems that, because the deceased had a “vaccine preventable” disease then the deceased therefore died from that disease. I am not aware that any investigation was carried out into these deaths to ascertain that there was no underlying medical condition or other factors involved. That is to say, an assumption was made that death was caused by the “vaccine preventable” disease.
    .
    Here in Australia we do it a little differently (sometimes). I’ll give you an example:
    You may be aware that recently we had many toddlers present with convulsions after receiving their flu shots. Even to this day investigations are continuing as to whether it was the actual flu shot that caused all the adverse reactions.
    One unfortunate child died 12 hours after the injection. This was many weeks ago. Did we make the assumption that the vaccine was the cause? Heck no! Investigations are still ongoing, weeks later!
    .
    You see it would be easy to assume that the vaccines caused all this suffering, but as you know, assumptions are not valid in science.
    So do you see my point? I’d like to know how it was determined that those deaths tallied on the so called “body count” were cause by “vaccine preventable” diseases.
    I’m using quotation marks for vaccine preventable because that is an assumption.
    .
    You may not be aware but here in Melbourne we have something of an outbreak of whooping cough. I haven’t seen any figures yet but it would be interesting to see how many of those with whooping cough have been vaccinated. If history is any guide it’ll be a high percentage of them.
    Which leads me to wonder:
    How many of the deaths tallied in the so called “body count” had been vaccinated for the disease the allegedly died from?
    .
    Having said all that though, it is a lovely idea – to single out some-one and infer that they are personally responsible for the death of many children because the person had the courage to speak her mind.
    .
    I congratulate you on your decision to support such a wonderful cause.

  • I don’t understand why Meryl would post his article there.
    .
    Could it possibly be that any negative articles on vaccination get a gig, no matter how flawed the reasoning in them? Can you accept that possibility and if so, how can you trust the articles that “seem” somewhat more reasonable? Could it be, as I’ve said before, that the AVN are like a dog that barks at everything?
    .
    Could it be that they actually believe vaccines are part of a massive lizard-people conspiracy? If not, why not?
    .
    As with my criticism of the SAVN, I think if parents looking for information read that then it would possily turn them away from the AVN.
    .
    Will it stop you trusting them? We’ve mentioned this for quite some time – and I’m sure I linked to it before – but you and Joh both scoff at us when we mention it. It doesn’t seem to have bothered you before that this forms part of a supposed “vaccine information” website.
    .
    My understanding of the Baxter issue is that live research material was sent overseas – not “contaminated vaccine”. As always, I’m ready to be corrected by reliable information (ie, not AVN, Adams, Mercola or their supporters.)

  • Bob

    ‘oh please’, do you have any evidence that vaccine manufacturers or medical regulatory agencies are lying about the safety and efficacy of vaccines? Say within the past 5-10 years; no need to go back to the 18th century looking for a smoking gun.
    .

    I’m sure you find your “corporations and governments can never be trusted” narrative as comforting as I find my evidence-based outlook. You pay lip service to logical, rational thought but provide no evidence to back up your opinions; that may be acceptable practice in purely mental fields such as mathematics or philosophy but you need to bring more to the table than opinion if you expect anyone to take your views on public health seriously.
    .

    Skepticism is a good thing – we should not blindly accept the statements of others on faith. However when research pharmacologists, doctors, statisticians, regulators, and public health works have mountains of evidence and the expertise to explain it, compared to the AVN or some random person on the internet, why would one not give more weight to the statements of the former than to those of the latter?
    .

    And from reading your previous posts here, I’m left with the impression you’re not arguing in good faith. For that reason I’m loath to spend any time answering your questions, especially those you could answer yourself by spending two minutes on Google.

  • oh please!

    Thanks Maggie, I’ve had a look.
    I’ve seen some of Icke’s work, if nothing else you would agree that he’s entertaining.
    I don’t understand why Meryl would post his article there. There’s enough information to use to get parents to seriously look at vaccinations without taking that line.
    As with my criticism of the SAVN, I think if parents looking for information read that then it would possily turn them away from the AVN.
    .

    Having said that, it’s a damn good conspiracy theory. Icke has a talent for starting with some basic facts and then “showing” how they relate to the global domination plans of the illuminati.
    .
    There’s no doubt in my mind, and I’ve stated this before, that the swine flu pandemic was a scam. I doubt it was any sort of population control measure. I can only assume that it was the greed of big pharma that put it all in motion.
    .

    I do have one question tho that I haven’t been able to reconcile (related to this particular conspiracy theory):
    Baxter sent out all those batches of contaminated vaccines:
    I haven’t yet seen an explanation of how this could accidentally happen.
    I also find it odd that such a potentially disastrous event was hardly mentioned by the media.
    And from memory Baxter was not investigated or charged with any offense (might be wrong on that one).

  • @ohplease

    http://nocompulsoryvaccination.blogspot.com/2009/07/flu-is-not-biggest-danger-its-vaccine.html
    .
    The link is broken. The original post is here http://www.davidicke.com/articles/swine-flu/25191-flu-is-not-the-biggest-danger-its-the-vaccine
    .
    David Icke is probably the world’s most famous conspiracy theorist.

  • oh please!

    I don’t know what I’m suggesting any more, I’m tired.
    Do you have a link to the illuminati thing?

  • Interesting response. Are you suggesting the AVN don’t support the illuminati theory published on their own blog – or just that you’d prefer to ignore it?
    .
    Or were you reinforcing my point by referring to the AVN as a repetitive parrot?

  • oh please!

    A parrot that squawks the same rubbish all the time gets boring real quick.

  • …others who are trying to raise important issues, which otherwise would remain unaddressed, surrounding vaccination.
    .
    Like microchips, genocide, the illuminati and table salt? Yes, I’m glad the AVN were there to warn us of such things.
    .
    Once more, for the sake of repetition, a dog that barks at everything, including things that don’t exist, is not a dog worth listening to.

  • oh please!

    Bob,1 more thing.
    I not you didn’t answer my questions regarding McCarthy. I was hoping you would have a look at them and let me know.
    I also have an additional question: Of those that died of “vaccine preventable diseases”, which were vaccinated against the disease they succumbed to?

  • oh please!

    Nice work Bob.
    It’s a pity that your faith in big pharma is not supported by logical thought.
    .

    But many people do tend to parrot the FDA, Big Pharma and co. rather than applying a little rational thought and commonsense.
    Which is fine.
    .

    Until those people begin to verbally assault others who are trying to raise important issues, which otherwise would remain unaddressed, surrounding vaccination.
    .

    To suggest that she (or anyone for that matter) is part of a “pro-infectious-disease lobby” (sounds like a conspiracy theory to me) says a lot about you.
    But carry on Bob, it’s people like you that make the world more entertaining.

  • Bob

    Dearest oh please,
    .

    How is this Meryl bashing? Would we not expect from her previous behavior to capitalize on any news of possible problems with vaccines? And given the mountain of evidence of vaccine safety and efficacy and her unwillingness accept what medical science has clearly shown and continues to show, is it really an ad hominem to say she unwaveringly supports to a pro-disease position?
    .

    Regardless, I don’t see that any clarification in my previous statement is necessary. I’m bothered by the trivialization of software faults, especially in areas regarding human health and safety such as vaccine surveillance. I also have no tolerance for the pro-infectious-disease lobby. As an adult taking an immunosuppressant to treat arthritis, I find myself in that category of people who can’t be vaccinated and as such I take a much more personal interest in Meryl’s lethal hobby.
    ,.

    But do carry on, sir. Your concern for the health and welfare of others is heartwarming.

  • I’m still a bit curious as to what real information we have regarding this purported spike in adverse reactions in children receiving an influenza vaccine this year, and how strong the causal association with the vaccine is.
    .

    How many ‘flu vaccinations are typically administered to children < 5 years annually?
    .

    What is the typical frequency per year of adverse medical presentations in these children immediately following vaccination, say from 2008 or 2009? (hopefully, broken down by the type of symptoms, eg. pain at injection site, swelling, mild fever, seizures, etc., since of course a seizure is quite a different matter from a prick in the arm)
    .

    How many children have received the flu vaccine so far in 2010? What is the frequency, and breakdown, of adverse symptoms presenting following the vaccination?
    .

    To be honest, I've heard reports and stories that suggest that maybe it's possible that there is a problem with this batch of vaccines – but I have not as yet actually found any data which actually shows that this problem exists.

  • oh please!

    Sean, still pre-emptive bashing tho. And you’re right I misunderstood the glitch/shining example part.

  • @ohplease,

    I’d be surprised if Meryl didn’t mention it. I suggest you reread bobs comment again its clear to me what he is talking about.

  • oh please

    Very good Bob, let’s go for a bit more pre-emptive Meryl bashing. I’ve heard of the McCarthy body count – so tell me is each death directly linked to McCarthy, and if so why is she not locked up.
    And – the same stringent tests that show that no-one ever dies from a jab, were they also done for each death McCarthy is responsible for? (I’m curious as to how a coronor would detect the absence of a vaccine as the reason for a death).

    So tell me, is this glitch a “fault” or is it a “shining example of good medical practice”, I’m not sure what you mean.

  • I’m a bit late on this, but how are we defining ‘fever’?

    .

    It is simply a bit of an elevated temperature, that can be easily treated with a bit of paracetamol and some TLC, or are we talking full on hyperthermia/hyperpyrexia?
    .

    Also, does anyone know if there is any sort of familial/genetic component to this? Malignant Hyperthermia is a genetic condition which leads to hyperthermia (amongst other things) after anaesthesia in susceptible individuals.

    Just a thought..

  • Bob

    Ugh. How is this a software issue? Surely there’s some standard for producing medical software, for testing it, for data interchange formats and protocols. I hate trivializing terms like ‘glitch’; I prefer ‘fault’ because it sets a tone of seriousness. We[*] set high standards for drugs, procedures, and devices, but software is still something that always seems to get a free pass when it doesn’t work right.
    .

    But enough about software: I expect the Meryl Dorey/Jenny McCarthy/J. B. Handley antivax brigade to leap all over this even though it’s actually a shining example of good medical practice – watching for problems and taking responsible, measured action in response. If only they were capable or willing to change when presented with new information rather than clinging to their pro-disease dogma.
    .

    [*] I’m using the planetary “we” here. I’m on the opposite side of the globe, though there are more people with my surname in Australia than in the US or UK. Weird that.

  • jason Jarred

    Antivaccers will be having a field day with this.