Swine flu vaccine Pandremix can cause narcolepsy
For some time, the swine flu vaccine Pandremix made by GlaxoSmithKline
, has been suspected of having powerful side effects. New evidence has came to light that the drug may be giving some children narcolepsy
Response to panic
The vaccine was used at the height of concerns about swine flu
, and a mass vaccination campaign was undertaken with high risk groups, such as children under the age of 5.
Unfortunately due to the speed with which this Public Health issue had to be addressed, the vaccine didn’t get the same rigorous testing
that drugs normally receive when they’re given to children. Later research suggests that a component of the vaccine, squaline is linked to neurological damage
in children, leading to narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a very serious condition but can be difficult to diagnose. The most obvious symptom is constantly falling asleep around 30 times a day
and sudden weakness and floppiness of the muscles. This in itself can dramatically change the everyday life of a child.
The problem has been recently highlighted in the BBC1’s The One Show which looked at the serious implications of this neurological disorder
. 8-year-old Ben can experience sudden outbursts of anger and aggression. Ben constantly feels withdrawn and embarrassed, when he was previously confident and outgoing. The effects of narcolepsy became all too much for Chloe, 14 when she attempted suicide
. The chilling effects of the disorder were shown on the show, with Chloe completely falling asleep during an interview.
Families had complained about narcolepsy as a side effect in the past, but claims to the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme
were rejected. In light of new evidence, the Department for Work and Pensions
has told families to re-apply for an award.
Where do I stand?
Claims against drugs companies are usually brought in negligence and under the Consumer Protection Act where the time limit for making a claim for a child is much shorter
(10 years from the date of manufacture of the product rather than the usual limit of the child’s 21st birthday if in England and Wales).
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