Flu vaccine for 2018: safety confirmed

10 July 2018

New data released by AusVaxSafety show the 2018 Australian influenza vaccines are safe, with over 140,000 adults and children who have been vaccinated and participated in surveillance this year experiencing no unexpected or unusual reactions. With flu season upon us, AusVaxSafety confirms that the vaccines available this year are safe for use in individuals of all ages.

Led by the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS) and funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, AusVaxSafety is a world-leading national active vaccine safety surveillance system that monitors vaccine safety. AusVaxSafety facilitates early detection of potential vaccine safety issues, using de-identified information reported directly from people receiving the vaccines (or their parent or carer). Responses are solicited via an SMS sent using the automated SmartVax or Vaxtracker software around 3 days after vaccination from more than 250 sentinel sites across Australia. Analysis of all de-identified patient responses occurs frequently and is reviewed by vaccine experts as well as the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Department of Health.

Professor Kristine Macartney, Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and paediatric infectious disease consultant, says, “Influenza can be a serious disease in people of all ages. It is the leading cause of hospitalisation due to a vaccine-preventable disease in Australia. After a record influenza season in 2017, demand for influenza vaccination in Australia has been very high this year. AusVaxSafety is a unique surveillance system that actively monitors the safety of each year’s new vaccines, to ensure they are performing as safely as we expect them to.”

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