Health experts look into narcolepsy spike in Scandanavia

Several children and adolescents in Finland, Iceland and Sweden are reported to be exhibiting a rear sleeping disorder after receiving their seasonal flu vaccinations.

Flu Vaccine

Flu Vaccine

According to the World Health Organization, in Finland, at least 60 children aged between 4 and 19 years fell ill with narcolepsy, a rare sleep disorder that causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly.

WHO says those affected had received the Pandemrix flu vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company.

Gregory Hartl from WHO says although the vaccine side-effects have been limited to the three European countries, the organization had distributed 36 million doses of the vaccine to 18 countries worldwide.

“We have no signs whatsoever from any countries that we’ve been distributing vaccines directly to that there are any indications of narcolepsy or any other unusual adverse events. Investigations are on going, the information is not yet complete. WHO’s own Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is considering all available data relating to reports of increased rates of narcolepsy and is expected to issue a statement on its website within coming days.”

WHO says despite the rare side-effects, its recommendations for the use of seasonal influenza vaccines in children and adolescents remain unchanged.


Filed under Today's News.
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