Hazell L, Shakir S, Denith J, Hammond, E and Brooks D.
Fluenz® Tetra is a quadrivalent, live attenuated, intranasal, influenza vaccine recommended for use in children aged 2 to 17 years vaccination as part of the seasonal influenza immunisation campaign in the UK. This is the third post-approval season of passive enhanced safety surveillance (ESS) for the vaccine in 2017/18
To measure and assess the frequencies of suspected adverse drug reactions (sADRs) in children receiving Fluenz® Tetra during the early 2017/18 influenza season in England.
Vaccinees or parents/guardians received a Safety Report Card (SRC) to return if children experienced sADRs after vaccination with Fluenz® Tetra. At participating sites, 38 general practices and 36 primary schools in England, immunisation teams recorded numbers of SRCs distributed. The project was approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee (Hampshire B South Central NRES Committee).
Between 29th September and 2nd December 2017, 12,193 children were vaccinated at participating sites, with 16 different vaccine lots used. In total, 10,793 SRCs were issued for children aged 2 to 17 years including 5,189 children (48.1%) aged 2 to 4 years, 5,036 (46.7%) aged 5 to 10 years and 568 aged 11 to 17 years. Of 114 SRCs returned (by 9th January 2018 datalock), 101 SRCs reported at least one sADR (0.9% of all SRCs issued). The most frequently reported sADRs were rhinorrhoea (n=36), pyrexia (31) and cough (14). Three reported sADRs were classified as serious due to hospitalisation (0.03% of SRCs issued) including nasal symptoms, general cold/flu symptoms and croup, from which all three children recovered. The frequency of sADRs reported in the current ESS season was consistent with that reported in previous seasons.
Overall, the number of sADRs reported for Fluenz® Tetra in the 2017/18 ESS remains low. Reported sADRs were typically minor expected events with serious sADRs rarely reported. The pattern and frequency of reported sADRs in the current season were consistent with previous seasons with no safety signals detected. Despite the limited number of reports received, the ESS method continues to be a useful extension to routine pharmacovigilance activities in the monitoring of possible sADRs. Project co-sponsored by DSRU and AstraZeneca.