Bradfield Resident

Information. Issues. Insight. Investigation.

Concerns about H1N1 vaccine trial on children

Posted by bradfieldresident on 11 August 2009

I heard on a television program last night that a swine flu vaccine trial has begun in Sydney, with children being tested for the “optimum treatment”, that is, one shot or two? One woman spoke about how she was eager to have her daughter in the vaccine trial, since her daughter is prone to illnesses due to a suppressed immune system. In the report it was mentioned that a child in the family [update: it was Emily, the daughter with the suppressed immune system] had recently contracted whooping cough, despite supposedly being immunised. What wasn’t asked is why the girl’s mother believed the trial H1N1 immunisation would be effective when clearly other immunisation was not effective.

I had previously read that adult trials had already begun in Adelaide, again only to determine whether one or two doses was best.

For neither of these trials did I hear of there being any control group – a group offered a placebo, or some other vaccine (I have read of a similar flu vaccine trial where some participants were given a hepatitis vaccine) – so the assumption is that yes, the vaccine is good for you, we just need to work out how much you need.

It has been a week since the Department of Health and Ageing’s initial response to my Questions about Pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza, so I wrote again to express my concern (view email to DoH).

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