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Published: March 2013

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Reports in 2012

Prescriber Update 34(1):2-3
March 2013

In 2012, the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) received 193 reports of patients with adverse events suspected to be related to seasonal influenza vaccination (Table 1). Some of the reports contained more than one suspected event.

Table 1: Numbers of reports received by CARM and number of influenza vaccine doses distributed, 2007-2012
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Reports of adverse events following influenza vaccination 122 122 138 409 207 193
Influenza vaccine doses distributed* 745,600 755,900 960,900 1,046,000 993,500 1,000,600
Estimated reporting rate per 100,000 doses 16.4 16.1 14.4 39.1 20.8 19.3

* the number of doses distributed is not equal to number administered (eg, some doses may have been destroyed at the end of the influenza season and not used).

The most commonly reported events were injection site inflammation (45 reports), fever (24), arm pain (22), vomiting (20) and headache (20).

Febrile convulsions

In 2012, CARM received three reports of children having convulsions or fever convulsions. In the United States, surveillance data found the risk of febrile seizures to be highest in children aged six months to four years. Febrile seizures usually occurred on the day of vaccination or the day after. The risk was further increased when the influenza vaccine was given together with the 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine1.

Influenza vaccine for 2013

The influenza H3N2 and B vaccine virus strains in the 2013 influenza vaccine are different from those in the 2011-2012 vaccine. The H1N1 strain used in the next season's (2013) vaccine is the same virus that was included in the 2011-2012 vaccine.

In 2013, Fluvax and Fluarix are the funded vaccines. For eligible children under nine years of age, Fluarix continues to be the recommended influenza vaccine.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2012. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)—United States, 2012-13 influenza season. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 61(32): 613-8.


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