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Kids should not be given swine flu vaccine: agency

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Kids should not be given swine flu vaccine: agency
Wearing masks as a precaution against swine flu in Mexico City, May 4
10:06 CEST+02:00
Children under three-years-old should not be vaccinated against the swine flu, the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) has stated in a new recommendation.

The agency advises that exceptions should be made for children aged between six months and three years and considered to be in identified risk groups.

"Data is missing for this group, which complicates the establishment of a dose recommendation. Before this data is compiled then the vaccination is considered suitable only for children with underlying risk factors," the agency wrote in a statement on Thursday.

Children younger than six months should not be given the vaccine at all, according to the agency after publishing the findings of a risk/benefit analysis of the Pandemrix vaccine.

The agency also considered the risks and benefits posed by the vaccine for pregnant women. It is known that the regular seasonal influenza carries an increased risk for complications among pregnant women.

The agency concluded that there are a number of known cases of healthy pregnant women who have died as a result of complications from the flu.

The effects of the vaccine on the unborn child are not yet established, but the body of opinion indicates that there is no apparent risk.

All pregnant women should therefore be given the vaccine and to grant the greatest protection it should be administered as early as possible in the pregnancy, the agency writes.

The report has been compiled in cooperation the Swedish Paediatric Association and its recommendations are supported by the National Board of Health and Welfare.

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