Doctor backs halt to flu shots

NORTHERN Rivers children under the age of five will be refused flu shots after dozens ofbabies and young children, mostly in Western Australia and Queensland, suffered adverse reactions after having the vaccine.

Last Friday, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jim Bishop, ordered a review of hospital records to better understand the scope of the problem.

Seasonal flu shots for children under five have been suspended since Friday, despite the World Health Organisation stating it was ‘unl-ikely’ that a batch of seasonal flu vaccines were to blame for an increase in children presenting with fevers and convulsions.

Since the flu shot suspension, Brisbane father David Epapara has revealed his two-year-old daughter Ashley was found dead in her cot on April 9, a day after she and her twin sister were inoculated by a GP.

The Queensland Cor-oner is now investigating the toddler’s death.

“It seems too much of a coincidence for a healthy girl, after having this vaccine, to just pass away. It is shocking,” Mr Epapara told The Australian newspaper.

Lismore paediatrician Dr Chris Ingall said he supported the Department of Health’s decision to suspend the vaccination for infants and young children until they had ‘got to the bottom of it’.

“They need to do their homework before it bec-omes available again,” he said.

“Hopefully we will know the cause in the coming weeks.

“Two children have now died due to febrile fits after having the vaccine. The side-effects may only be attributed to certain batches,” Dr Ingall said.

Brisbane mum and medical scientist Merilyn Haines told The Northern Star, “I suspect a cover-up.”

“Police were investigating the child’s death on the 9th of April, so why didn’t the police and the doctor involved alert Queensland Health and the Adverse Medicine Events hotline?” Mrs Haines asked.

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