National Institute for Health and Welfare Links Swine Flu Vaccine Pandemrix in Kids 4-19 to Narcolepsy
Posted Feb 02 2011 12:00am
Finnish health researchers say they have found an increased risk of narcolepsy among young people who have been given the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix
I wanted to give you the update on the post I wrote this week about the Swine Flu vaccine (Pandemrix) and narcolepsy in children. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. This vaccine has been used in at least 30.8 million Europeans. The report I told you about from the National Institute for Health and Welfare is available and I think it is important to give you the highlights. To be clear, The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and not some conspiracy organization.
Among those 4-19 years of age who received Pandemrix®-vaccine had a manifold increased risk of falling ill with narcolepsy during the 8 months following vaccination in comparison to those unvaccinated in the same age group.
Based on the evaluation done so far, the National Narcolepsy Task Force finds it probable that Pandemrix®-vaccination contributed to the observed increase in incidence of narcolepsy among those 4 -19 years of age.
Currently, the most likely explanation is that the increase in narcolepsy is by joint effect of the vaccine and some other factor(s).
At the moment, there is no evidence that the increase in narcolepsy observed in Finland could be attributed to the vaccine lots used.
Pandemrix is not used in the United States and I think we should all give props to the CDC for not licensing it for use in the United States. In response to these recent cases in Europe, CDC has reviewed information from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System External Web Site Icon (VAERS) and found no signals or concerns suggesting an association between U.S.-licensed H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccines and narcolepsy in the United States. The CDC has enhanced its surveillance for cases of narcolepsy occurring after 2010-11 seasonal influenza vaccine and will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action as needed.
I still won't be vaccinating my kids against the flu this year but almost all of my friends have. How about you?