By Annie Guest
There is renewed controversy surrounding influenza vaccines, with some studies showing people immunised against the seasonal flu might have been at greater risk during the swine flu outbreak.
Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon has called for a review of Australia’s flu vaccine policy in light of the new research, but the Federal Government has defended its vaccination program.
Immunisation can be a sensitive issue, particularly when it comes to adverse effects in children.
Professor Collignon from the Australian National University (ANU) says the new research will only heighten sensitivities.
“What was a bit surprising when we looked at some of the data from Canada and Hong Kong in the last year is that people who have been vaccinated in 2008 with the seasonal or ordinary vaccine seemed to have twice the risk of getting swine flu compared to the people who hadn’t received that vaccine,” he said.
ANU microbiologists say it is the opposite of what vaccines should do.