Sleeping sickness due to swine flu vaccine

Sleeping sickness due to swine flu vaccine

Swine flu vaccine with significant side effects: The Finnish Health Institute (THL) warns of the Pandemrix vaccine as the active ingredient may trigger sleeping sickness.

Swine flu vaccine causes sleep sickness? The state health institute (THL) in Helsinki has come to the conclusion that the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix may trigger narcolepsy (sleeping sickness), especially in children.

The swine flu vaccine could be one of the causes of the sudden massive increase in sleeping sickness (narcolepsy), especially among children in Finland, according to the highest Finnish health authority. A spokesman for the THL emphasized that the "most likely explanation" for the increase in new cases was that the vaccine in conjunction with "some other factors" led to the outbreak of rare narcolepsy.

Link Between Swine Flu Vaccination And Narcolepsy? Initial research results from the THL have shown that the risk of developing narcolepsy through swine flu vaccination increases particularly between the ages of four and 19 years. The Pandemrix vaccine increases the risk of disease nine-fold, the health agency warned. Although further examinations are necessary before the announced final report in August, the preliminary results unequivocally indicate a connection between the increase in narcolepsy diseases and Pandemrix vaccinations, a spokesman for the highest Finnish health authority said.

Health authorities refrain from Pandemrix vaccine In 2009, a nationwide vaccination campaign against the H1N1 virus was launched in Finland. However, given the increase in cases of sleeping sickness, especially among children, the health authority has since August 2010 refrained from continuing to use the Pandemrix vaccine from the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK defends itself against the allegations and emphasized the close cooperation with the authorities. A spokeswoman for GSK pointed out that 31 million doses had been vaccinated worldwide, but only 161 cases of narcolepsy had occurred, 70 percent of which were diagnosed in Sweden and Finland. "This is apparently limited to this region," said the spokeswoman for GSK. It remains to be seen whether this is the case. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is responsible for vaccine safety in Germany, has also been notified of several suspected cases of narcolepsy after swine flu vaccinations. The PEI said to the "Tagesspiegel" that seven cases are currently being investigated, with six cases affecting children between 9 and 15 years of age. In addition, the case of a 26-year-old woman who may have had narcolepsy after a swine flu vaccination will also be examined.

Narcolepsy usually extremely rare The number of narcolepsy diseases favored by swine flu vaccinations appears to be quite manageable overall, but sleeping sickness is generally so rare that the number of suspected cases represents a massive increase. According to estimates by the German Society for Sleep Medicine (DGSM), a total of around 40,000 people in Germany suffer from narcolepsy, with only around 4,000 people being diagnosed with it. Every year, one in a million children in Germany fall ill, according to the PEI. With a number of 5.6 million vaccinations with Pandemrix, a maximum of one additional illness would be assumed. The seven reported cases are beyond the scope - should they be confirmed - here clearly. In Finland and Sweden, the number of narcolepsy diseases overall is significantly lower due to the lower population. Here, the 161 new cases presumably caused by the Pandemrix vaccine are of greater importance in relation to the diseases overall.

Symptoms of sleeping sickness Sleeping sickness (narcolepsy) is essentially characterized by four different symptoms, which mostly occur in varying degrees. Sudden compulsion to sleep and cataplexies (loss of muscle tension) as well as an abnormal rhythm of sleep and sleep paralysis (sleep paralysis) are the most common signs of narcolepsy. According to the experts, the sleep disorders are based on a neurological disorder of the sleep-wake rhythm, which is not characterized by a generally higher need for sleep but above all by a profound disturbance of the sleep rhythm. For those affected, an illness often brings with it considerable restrictions in everyday private and professional life.

Pandemrix vaccine frequently criticized for possible side effects The Pandemrix vaccine has been criticized for its possible side effects since its introduction. General skin reactions including hives (urticaria) have been reported occasionally. On rare occasions, nerve pain (neuralgia) and seizures have occurred, according to the vaccination-critical internet portal "". Allergic reactions, which in rare cases have led to shock, are also reported here. Inflammation of the blood vessels and neurological diseases such as inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (encephalomyelitis) after a Pandemrix vaccination have also been reported in isolated cases.

Skepticism about swine flu vaccinations not unfounded The problems with a vaccination with Pandemrix made clear by the result of the highest Finnish health authority, make it clear that the skepticism of the Germans towards vaccinations - and especially against swine flu vaccinations - is apparently not entirely unfounded. Despite the extensive call for vaccination, only relatively few people in Germany had been vaccinated. In the Scandinavian countries, however, the population's reservations about vaccination are far from as pronounced as in Germany and the vaccination rate for swine flu vaccinations with Pandemrix was correspondingly higher. However, the warnings from the THL suggest that this also explains the significantly higher number of narcolepsy diseases in Scandinavia. (fp)

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Image: Bernd Boscolo /

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