By Liz Jones Hollis
As 12 nations have reported suspected cases of narcolepsy linked to swine flu vaccination, World Health Organization scientists are saying more investigation is warranted. However, the health body has decided to keep its advice in favor of vaccination because it still believes the benefits outweigh a relatively small risk, spokeswoman Alison Brunier said, as quoted by AFP.
Concerns have been heightened since Finland, Sweden and Iceland reported an uptick in narcolepsy cases in youths between the ages of 4 and 19. Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare says there is a link between GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix flu vaccine and a spike in narcolepsy cases. Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly.
In a statement, the WHO points out narcolepsy is typically seen in persons who have a certain genotype.
“Of the cases of narcolepsy tested so far in Finland (n=22), diagnosed during 2009-2010, all have that genotype. The National Institute considers it probable that the Pandemrix vaccine was a contributing factor to this observed increase, and has called for further investigation of other co-factors that may be associated with the increased risk.”
WHO urges investigation into link between flu shots, narcolepsy – FierceVaccines : Read more….