Swine Flu Shot May Have Caused Kids' Narcolepsy
795 European recipients of GlaxoSmithKline drug report illness
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 22, 2013 9:32 AM CST
A sign for British pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline is seen on its offices in London.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

(Newser) – Children across Europe have been developing narcolepsy at increased rates since 2009—and experts fear the crisis may be linked to a GlaxoSmithKline swine flu vaccine. The incurable sleep disorder has surged in Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, and Britain, experts say, and it can take a devastating toll: Reuters recounts the case of a 14-year-old who frequently wakes up paralyzed, struggles to stay awake during the day, and can't enjoy time with friends "because when I do I get cataplexies and collapse."

Some 30 million Europeans got the Pandemrix vaccine in 2009-2010, and 795 kids have reported narcolepsy since; scientists say that those who have been vaccinated risk developing the disease up to 13 times more than those who didn't get the shot. Still, GlaxoSmithKline and other experts say more research is needed to verify that the vaccine is the culprit; some fear a false link like the one reported between the MMR vaccine and autism, notes a researcher. But European officials have already banned Pandemrix use in people under 20. The shot wasn't administered in the US because it is an adjuvanted vaccine—one containing a booster.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Battery
Jan 22, 2013 9:02 PM CST
I have had narcolepsy for many years and struggle daily but remain productive. I sympathize with all these children, but narcolepsy has been on the rise in this country (usa) as well. We also know now that narcolepsy usually begins as it did with me, in your teens. It is also now known to have many different components from genetics, previous head trauma to autoimmune factions as well. Many narcolepics have associated diseases now - narcolepsy triad of hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. So it is too soon for me to jump on this bandwagon. The hypocretin connection has only recently been discovered because narcolepsy had been poorly studied in the past. So.....perhaps unfortunate as it sounds, maybe more studies will be performed that will lead to a cure with more attention being brought forward about this disease I live with every day and struggle to not let it define me. I still have my fingers crossed with stem cell research.
Telos
Jan 22, 2013 12:59 PM CST
Vaccine boosters are bad, period. I hope we don't use them anymore in America. Would you mainline aluminum shavings? That's what a booster is. There is a strong correlation between an increase in Alzhimer's and flu shots with boosters given in the 1980's. Here is a little known factoid. Taking your RDA of supplimental copper will moderate your immune response to vaccines. In other words, copper makes vaccines both safer and more effective. No, you can't add it to the vaccine.
janelanejones
Jan 22, 2013 11:53 AM CST
i'm on the fence about vaccines. doctors claim they're the reason certain diseases have (almost) been eradicated, but then i've seen stats that show particular diseases were on a steep decline anyway when the vaccines were introduced.