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Pandemrix: the narcoleptic vaccine?

Pandemrix: the narcoleptic vaccine?


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A new controversy in the case of the H1N1 virus. Pandemrix, a vaccine used worldwide during the influenza epidemic, is believed to be responsible for the increase in children of cases of sleeping sickness, narcolepsy. This is just revealed by an interim report of the Finnish National Institute for Health. (News from 17/02/11)

Pandemrix in the dock

  • The Pandemrix vaccine, intended to protect populations during the H1N1 influenza pandemic, was used between 2009 and 2010 in 47 countries around the world.
  • Finland, Iceland or Sweden have reported an increase Not insignificant case of narcolepsy, a neurological disease, in vaccinated subjects, aged between 4 and 19 years. In most cases, symptoms appeared 2 months after vaccination.
  • In these countries, only the Pandemrix has been used during vaccination campaigns.
  • In early February, the Finnish National Institute for Health has issued a preliminary report, correlating the risk of narcolepsy with vaccination with Pandemrix.
  • According to this report, the risk of triggering this disease would be 9 times higher.
  • On 8 February, the World Health Organization, WHO, recognized that the multiplication of cases of narcolepsy in 12 different countries deserved further study.

Narcolepsy: sleeping sickness

  • Narcolepsy or Gélineau's disease is a neurological condition.
  • It is characterized by hypersomnia, want to sleep uncontrollably, and unpredictable episodes of loss of muscle tone.
  • Thea narcolepsy is extremely disturbing in the daily life of the affected subjects.
  • Quite rare, it would be estimated at 3 cases per 10,000 inhabitants.

A significant risk in France?

  • Pandemrix was not prescribed children under 10 years old. Another vaccine, Panenza has been advocated for this segment of the population.
  • Pandemrix was recommendedfrom 10 years old.
  • To date, at least 6 people vaccinated with Pandemrix were diagnosed narcoleptics on the French territory.

Frédérique Odasso