Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Trials start on Human Swine Flu vaccine for children

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Trials start on Human Swine Flu vaccine for children

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas today announced that Queensland is a step closer to a swine flu vaccine for children with clinical trials beginning at the Royal Children’s Hospital today.

    The first adult study commenced in Adelaide on 22 July 2009, and an independent data safety monitoring board reviewed the data and recommended the commencement of a nationwide paediatric study.

    “The Royal Children’s Hospital is the only site in Queensland conducting the study and one of only five in Australia participating in the trial of a vaccine for children,” Mr Lucas said.

    Trials are being conducted concurrently in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

    Mr Lucas said advice from the nation’s chief health officers is that people in the vulnerable category – our indigenous population, people who are immuno-suppressed, have chronic disease or who are obese, and pregnant women – are more vulnerable to complications from the virus.

    “The Queensland Government is working with the Commonwealth and other States and Territories to get a vaccination program for human swine flu up and running to protect our most vulnerable population.

    “However this trial will bring a vaccine specifically for children one step closer.

    “Advice from the Chief Health Officer was this paediatric trial was the next step along the path to gathering the appropriate data to make the human swine flu vaccine available to all Australians.

    “The Queensland Government has, from the outset, taken the human swine influenza pandemic seriously.

    “Queensland’s response has been measured but we have yet to see the influenza season peak in the State.

    “That’s why the development of a vaccine, not only for adults but also for children, is a priority for the Queensland Government.”

    Dr Stephen Lambert, principal investigator on the vaccine trial at the Royal Children’s Hospital, said the vaccine was based on normal seasonal flu vaccines that have been used for the last 30 to 40 years.

    “This paediatric trial that will allow us to collate data so we can identify the most appropriate method of delivering the vaccine to children,” Dr Lambert said.

    “Early information from the study will likely be available in September.

    “The Commonwealth Government will then make a decision whether they want to see more data before recommending the vaccine for use in children.”

    Global biopharmaceutical company CSL Ltd has developed the vaccine and is sponsoring the vaccine research.

    The company’s human swine flu adult study in Adelaide was the first in the world and to date has not raised any safety issues with the vaccine.

    “Hundreds of adults have been given the vaccine to date but it is now a matter of collecting further data so we can determine the most appropriate way to make the vaccine available to children as well,” Dr Lambert said.

    Deputy Premier’s Office – Kate van Poelgeest 0458 449 267
    Royal Children’s Hospital – (07) 3636 1683