The WA Health Department is seeking to reassure parents about having their children vaccinated against the flu.
After approximately 100 children around the country experienced adverse reactions to CSL’s Fluvax last year, the Department is concerned that parents are rejecting the flu vaccine altogether.
However, Fluvax is not the vaccine that is being used this year, and children aged between six months and five years are eligible to receive the vaccination for free.
According for WA’s medical co-ordinator for public health Paul Effler, around 13,000 children in Western Australia have medical problems such as asthma that put them at a higher risk of complications arising from the flu.
However, only 1700 of those children have so far been vaccinated.
"We want to reassure parents and health care providers because both groups have been shaken by what happened last year," Dr Effler said.
"The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation strongly recommends at-risk children have the vaccine.
“It would be unfortunate if problems with a single vaccine last year meant a lot of kids were left vulnerable this year and had bad outcomes."
WA president of the Australian Medical Association, Dave Mountain, also recommended all children are vaccinated against the flu.
"The current vaccine has been used in the northern hemisphere and found to be extremely safe," he said.
The Health Department has written to GPs urging them to encourage high-risk patients to be vaccinated.