Ninefold risk of developing narcolepsy after Pandemrix vaccine for Finnish children/ AP

Finland’s National Narcolepsy Task Force released its preliminary report today, and GSK’s swine flu vaccine is implicated.  From the Associated Press:

The National Institute for Health and Welfare, which published the findings, said that 60 children and adolescents contracted narcolepsy in Finland in 2009 and 2010. Fifty-two of them — or almost 90 percent — had received the Pandemrix vaccine…

“Based on the preliminary analyses, the risk of falling ill with narcolepsy among those vaccinated in the 4-19 years age group was nine-fold in comparison to those unvaccinated in the same age group,” the study said…  the biggest increase was among those aged 5 to 15 years.

The European Medicines Agency (EMEA), which authorized use of the vaccine, began an investigation into the vaccine and narcolepsy last August, which is continuing.  Will it be independent as it investigates possible harm resulting from its own decisions?

Pandemrix is a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) swine flu vaccine that contains the novel adjuvant ASO3 (of which squalene is one component), as well as thimerosal.  Canada and much of Europe used this GSK vaccine, although the US used non-adjuvanted swine flu vaccines.  So more data should be forthcoming on the subject of swine flu vaccines and narcolepsy. 

Have swine flu vaccines been evaluated for a potential relationship to other neurologic and autoimmune disorders?  Neurological and autoimmune conditions are the types of illnesses that are most likely to occur as a result of vaccinations.

Before the swine flu campaign began, FDA promised that “ the agency had set up an exceptionally extensive network for what is known as post-marketing surveillance.  Now is the time to examine those data.

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