Swine Flu vaccine safe for kids

BUNDABERG babies as young as six months can be vaccinated against swine flu after the inoculation passed final checks by a health regulator.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the swine flu vaccination for children and babies on Thursday.

Unlike the adult vaccination, it is recommended children receive two flu shots at least 28 days apart and children between the ages of six months and nine years are eligible.

But not all parents are leaping on the vaccination bandwagon this time.

Bundaberg mother-of-two Carolyn Jacobsen said she would not be lining up with her kids, aged four and five, for the round of injections.

“I don’t think the swine flu vaccine has been around for long enough and I’m unsure of the long-term effects,” she said.

Her children were inoculated against many other diseases such as chicken pox.

“Usually I’m all for vaccinating but this seems rushed – within six months of swine flu there was a vaccine,” Mrs Jacobsen said.

“Normally with the TGA, they take years to approve different vaccines and things like that.”

Mrs Jacobsen said the protocols in place at schools were fairly stringent and would help protect her children from getting the flu strain.

GP Links Wide Bay chairman Dr Paul Neeskens said the vaccine was recommended for any child or adult with pre-existing heart and lung medical conditions.

“Parents are free to make their own choices as to whether to vaccinate their children or not,” he said.

But Health Minister Nicola Roxon said all family members should be vaccinated against the flu strain.

“We are in a global battle against this pandemic,” Ms Roxon told reporters in Melbourne this week.

The Health Minister said she hoped the laid-back Australian attitude would not prevent people from accessing the vaccination.

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