The status of Influenza vaccine in Brunei Darussalam. The Ministry of Health in their press release informs that the ministry is aware of media reports of deaths in the Republic of Korea following mass influenza immunization. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency KDCA has investigated the matter and has reported no direct link between the deaths with the usage of the affected influenza vaccine brands. Most of the deaths involved those in their 70s and 80s. The autopsies that had already been performed showed that deaths were from other serious chronic health conditions like cardiovascular and cerebral vascular diseases.
Brunei Darussalam imports and uses Vaxigrip Tetra manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur France, which is one of the seven brands of influenza vaccines used in Republic of Korea. The batch of Vaxigrip Tetra used in the Republic of Korea has not been distributed in any other country, therefore has never been imported into Brunei Darussalam. To date, there has never been any reported deaths associated with influenza vaccine in Brunei Darussalam. The Influenza vaccination provides protection against seasonal influenza viruses, and is effective in reducing the risk of complications and deaths due to influenza. This is especially so for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the young, pregnant women and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions.
To date, the Korean Health Authorities has not suspended its flu vaccination program and they continue to monitor and investigate the matter. The Ministry of Health Brunei Darussalam will also continue to closely monitor this situation, and liaise with the pertinent authorities as well as the vaccine manufacturer(s). Based on the current available information and feedback from the Western Pacific Regional Office, World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health has concluded that there is no need to cease use of Vaxigrip Tetra in Brunei Darussalam.
The public should continue to obtained influenza vaccination especially for the vulnerable group. They are also advised to inform their healthcare giver if they have any allergy to eggs before receiving their vaccination, or if they had previously experienced any allergic reactions or side effects following influenza vaccine injection.
The public are to seek advice from their doctor if they have any concerns. The Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam shall continue to closely monitor the global influenza vaccine situation and will keep members of the public updated on new developments.
Source: Radio Television Brunei