Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine: a “medical tragedy”

23 Jan

Concerns expressed about GSK’s drug Pandemrix since 2009 have been further substantiated by independent teams of scientists who have published peer-reviewed studies from Sweden, Finland and Ireland, showing the risk of developing narcolepsy after the 2009-2010 immunization campaign was between 7 and 13 times higher for children who had Pandemrix than for their unvaccinated peers.

Picture by Alcibiades

Picture by Alcibiades highlights the Reuter’s report by Kate Kelland about around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunized with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. Europe’s drugs regulator has ruled that this vaccine should no longer be used in people aged under 20.

Goran Stiernstedt, director for health and social care at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, helped to coordinate the vaccination campaign across Sweden’s 21 regions. While estimates vary, he says Sweden’s mass vaccination saved between 30 and 60 people from swine flu death. Yet since the pandemic ended, more than 200 cases of narcolepsy have been reported in Sweden. With hindsight, this risk-benefit balance is unacceptable. “This is a medical tragedy,” he said. “Hundreds of young people have had their lives almost destroyed.”

GSK says 795 people across Europe have reported developing narcolepsy since the vaccine’s use began in 2009. Finland, Norway, Ireland and France have seen spikes in narcolepsy cases and it is alleged that a study to be published in Britain will show a similar pattern in children here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s