H1N1 Vaccine = Narcolepsy?
There is strong evidence that an H1N1 vaccine has caused a number of cases of narcolepsy in young patients. This demands serious study before the next pandemic flu scare and vaccination drive.
There are always side effects to any medication or medical procedures and risks must be balanced against the threat.
This sometimes causes the medical establishment to avoid telling the general public about some risks and even to self-delusion where supposed dispassionate scientists ignore early evidence of dangerous side effects.
Of course this danger is much worse when drug companies profits are involved, but it also occurs when doctors decide they know best and, often with excellent cause, worry about how many deaths will result from public panic over some relatively rare risk.
Rare Side Effect
Personally, I can’t walk because of a rare side effect of a very necessary medication, which led to my interest in such events.
A major reason the medical establishment doesn’t say much about side effects is because most prescribed medications are really necessary – one additional reason to avoid unneeded medicines such as the antibiotics in meat and poultry.
Unfortunately a very necessary vaccine, the one for pandemic flu, often causes a number of problems but because even a normal flu year sees about one hundred thousand deaths worldwide, a few incidents of bad reactions should be ignored or a great many people who don’t understand the balance of risks will refuse the vaccine.
The Parental Concern
A well known example is the parental concern over the risk of a preservative compound in vaccinations causing autism was a major concern among parents for years and has only recently been completely dis-proven so epidemiologist’s concerns are certainly justified.
This fear and consequent reluctance to allow inoculation is incredibly important in the case of a pandemic threat where, not hundreds of thousands but tens or even hundreds of millions will die if even a small portion of people refuse vaccination.
I brought all that up as a preface to this unfortunate fact which I have recently learned.
The H1N1 Pandemrix swine flu vaccine given in 2009 to prevent an H1N1 swine flu pandemic, has recently been statistically proven to cause a seven fold increase in incidents of narcolepsy, not in everyone, but in children and teens of northern, western European ancestry.
One Big Downside
This correlation was suspected and ignored for several years, probably blocking a number of researchers from studying the problem with an eye to determining if it could be avoided in future vaccines. That is one big downside of scientists ignoring evidence.
Always ignored by groups trying to keep secrets whether for selfish or altruistic reasons is the other big downside of such willful ignorance – just as with Washington politicians who always think they can keep something secret, eventually everyone learns of the deception and people become even more distrustful of the special interest group involved in the deception whether it is a small group of politicians and bureaucrats, or the entire scientific community.
Why do people always forget that the deception is ALWAYS discovered and then the fact the deception occurred is always worse than the actual event being hidden? Human nature always overcomes common sense even in scientists.
Category of Medical Threats
The reluctance to even consider this category of medical threats is amply illustrated by this quote from The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 13, Issue 5, Pages 396 – 397, May 2013
“Terhi Kilpi, director of the department of vaccination and immune protection at Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) told TLID that ‘the first thing we met was a huge silence from the scientific community, and we had a feeling that no one wanted to hear about this’.”
Initially the link to narcolepsy was found only in Nordic countries, but a recent study published in the British Medical Journal shows that it also affects children in the UK, western Europe in general, and the U.S.
In this case the studies show that the risk of giving the trivalent flu vaccine to pre-20 year-olds probably outweighs the benefits in this age group. In Finland about 80 lives were probably saved in the entire population by the massive vaccination drive but nearly 100 new narcolepsy cases in teens and children likely resulted from the vaccination.
Question The Wisdom of Giving Flu Vaccinations
This should lead epidemiologists to question the wisdom of giving flu vaccinations to this age group and merits serious study by the medical community.