The letter to all GPs from Prof David Salisbury, said: "Epidemiological information from Australia indicates that there has been a higher than expected increase in febrile convulsions in children related to the use of Fluvax (manufactured by CSL).
"This is the same product that will be marketed in the UK by Pfizer as Enzira and generic influenza vaccine for the 2010/11 influenza vaccination season.
"Evidence from Australia suggests a rate of febrile convulsions of about one per 100 for children who were vaccinated with Fluvax. This increased risk appears to be a product specific reaction and evidence from Australia of vaccination with other products has so far not indicated a similar level of risk.
"It is important that children over six months of age who are in clinical risk groups receive influenza vaccination. Given the availability of other influenza vaccine products, you should avoid offering Enzira or CSL Biotherapies generic influenza vaccine marketed by Pfizer to children aged under five years."
What did CDC do? This year, ignoring the risks, it has approved CSL's pediatric flu vaccine for children as young as six months. The vaccine has a different name than in the UK or Australia. But it is the same CSL vaccine that the Brits and Ozzies are worried about. CDC appears to have only one worry, and that is expanding vaccine sales. Its new flu vaccine guideline states,
"Previously approved inactivated influenza vaccines that were approved for expanded age indications in 2009 include Fluarix (GlaxoSmithKline), which is now approved for use in persons aged ≥3 years, and Afluria (CSL Biotherapies), which is now approved for use in persons aged ≥6 months."