Nearly 400 Bibb County, Georgia, students were accidentally given two flu shots during a campaign to inoculate children against seasonal influenza. North Central Health officials were tipped off by a parent who said his child had received a flu shot at school when he had already been given one previously. This prompted an audit that found 383 elementary school students unnecessarily received a second dose of the flu vaccine.
Health officials blame the accident on paperwork oversight and said the school will not be charged for the extra shots. The district also says there is no cause for alarm. “We have not heard of any reactions, no one has called us about one,” North Central Health District’s Dr. David Harvey told WMGT news. “I’m sure we would hear about one if it were serious.”
Still, the news is alarming to any parent. The seasonal flu vaccine, while considered safe, does have side effects that may be more apparent in higher doses. Common side effects include fatigue, back pain, fever, and headache. Most adverse events occur within the first 96 hours after the vaccine was administered.
Most side effects are reported in adults, however pediatric studies on flu shot reactions in pediatric populations have been conducted. In 1987, a clinical study on 38 children between 4 and 12 who were given the common flu vaccine Fluvrin found only injection-site reactions, such as tenderness and redness. Three other clinical studies were carried out between 1995 and 2004 in a total of 520 pediatric subjects between the ages of 6 and 47 months. No serious adverse events were reported at that time.