Several news stories in the press in New Zealand and Australia reported on illnesses and a death occurring after administration of the Fluvax flu vaccine. Several of these stories aired on April 23, 2010 from Radio New Zealand and reported that "New Zealand children have suffered serious adverse reactions after being given a seasonal flu vaccine."
One of these stories reported that the government of Western Australia temporarily suspended its free influenza vaccination program for children under the age of five after the reported reactions. High fevers and convulsions were reported at that time in 23 children who had received the vaccine.
The following day, the news agency TopNews reported that 60 children had severe reactions and that one child had died from the reaction. The article noted that warnings had been issued to Australian doctors telling them that they are not supposed to administer the seasonal flu vaccine to kids under the age of 5.
On April 24, Radio New Zealand published an article with the headline, "Health officials in Australia say the number of children suffering adverse reactions to the flu vaccine may be severely underestimated because they have no way of monitoring people's reactions."
On April 26, 2010, ABC News listed the facts of the situation by reporting the following:
- Dozens of children in Queensland and Western Australia suffered fevers, vomiting and convulsions after being immunized.
- In Brisbane, a two-year-old girl died a day after receiving the seasonal flu shot.
- Authorities have temporarily banned the vaccine for those under five.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) influenza center says the cases involved several different batches of the vaccine.
In one of the most recent news stories, ABC News reported on April 27 that over 250 cases of severe reactions were reported in Western Australia alone. In spite of all the negative press and reports of reactions, the medical authorities in Australia are still split over affixing blame to the vaccine and what should be done about it.