Daily News Archive In Focus – Influenza (430 articles)

US Physicians Oppose Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Health Workers

AAPS – In letters to Colorado public health officials, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) opposes a rule requiring workers in health care facilities to have an annual influenza vaccination or lose their jobs. Workers who had a rare religious or medical exemption would be required to wear a mask in patient care areas from November through March. The mask requirement “seems to be nothing more than a punitive retaliation against those who decline the vaccine” and should be dropped, the AAPS letter states, as both immunized and nonimmunized individuals can transmit influenza or other illnesses. Read article

Flu jab gave our six-year-old son narcolepsy: Boy slept for up to 19 HOURS a day after reaction to vaccine

Daily Mail – The parents of a schoolboy who was struck down with narcolepsy after receiving a flu vaccine, said the Government should have carried out more tests before issuing the drug. Josh Hadfield, 6, lost muscle control and started sleeping for up to 19 hours every day just three weeks after getting the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix. He would fall asleep up to every five minutes – even when he was walking, eating and swimming – and suffer sudden bouts of cataplexy (loss of muscle tone) when he laughed. Read article

Related articles: Finland vows care for narcolepsy kids who had swine flu shot;Did swine flu vaccine give boy’s sleeping sickness that causes him to lose control of his body?
For other articles on narcolepsy; please put narcolepsy into the OYEN search engine, as there are too many to put here.

Seasonal flu may not spring from east Asia

New Scientist – Flu season is due any day in Europe and North America, but it may not spring from east Asia as many thought. Researchers may need to monitor flu evolution over more of the planet to match vaccines to next winter’s flu. In 2008 the first global genetic analysis of flu viruses found that flu’s annual rampage through the northern, then southern hemisphere’s winter is seeded from China and its neighbours. The virus strains’ family trees suggested that flu always circulates locally in east Asia before emerging from this crucible for its global excursions. New work suggests the situation is not so simple. Read article

‘Anthrax isn’t scary at all compared to this’: Man-made flu virus with potential to wipe out many millions if it ever escaped is created in research lab

Daily Mail – A group of scientists is pushing to publish research about how they created a man-made flu virus that could potentially wipe out civilisation. The deadly virus is a genetically tweaked version of the H5N1 bird flu strain, but is far more infectious and could pass easily between millions of people at a time. The research has caused a storm of controversy and divided scientists, with some saying it should never have been carried out. Read article

Fluvax to include a seizure warning

The Australian – DRUG giant CSL has changed its prescribing information for next year’s flu vaccine to warn doctors that two toddlers had to be hospitalised during clinical trials supervised by the federal government’s key immunisation adviser. The Therapeutic Goods Administration yesterday revealed that it had known of the side effects for six years, yet only now had it notified doctors “to provide a complete picture of the vaccine safety”. Read article

300,000 doses of flu vaccine Preflucel withdrawn in alert over side-effects?

Daily Mail – A flu vaccine has been recalled from thousands of surgeries and pharmacies across Europe amid fears it is making people ill. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning over Preflucel, a popular influenza vaccine. Around 300,000 doses of the drug are to be immediately withdrawn following fears from health bosses that the most recent batch, issued last month, is causing side-effects. Read article

Europe300,000 doses of flu vaccine Preflucel withdrawn in alert over side-effects?

Daily Mail – A flu vaccine has been recalled from thousands of surgeries and pharmacies across Europe amid fears it is making people ill. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning over Preflucel, a popular influenza vaccine. Read article

Bird Flu Vax Spurs Virus Evolution

The Scientist – The H5N1 Type A influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is mutating faster in countries that have been implementing wide-scale, but incomplete, vaccinations of poultry, according to a report published online in Vaccine (October 12). The genetic changes accrued by the viruses rendered the vaccinations ineffective, and increased the risk that the virus could jump to humans. Read article

Child’s fit escalates CSL flu jab row

The Australian – A three-year-old child suffered a fit and became “non-responsive” for up to seven minutes after being injected with CSL’s flu vaccine during a trial supervised by the federal government’s top immunisation adviser. Despite this, the Therapeutic Goods Administration last night said it was “not notified” of the finding until May last year, a month after CSL’s flu vaccine was banned for young children when it triggered febrile convulsions at 10 times the usual rate. “The TGA has written to CSL asking for an explanation of the timing of this notification of safety-related data,” a spokeswoman said. Read article

Australia: CSL slow to reveal flu jab reactions

The Australian – Australia’s drug regulator will demand an explanation from drug-maker CSL after it emerged the company knew two years ago about research suggesting a sharp rise in fevers linked to its seasonal flu vaccine, but omitted this from information given to doctors. As health authorities noticed a number of serious reactions to the vaccine early last year, the legally required product information sheets continued to rely on figures from 2005. These showed 22.5 per cent of children under three experienced a fever afterwards, dropping to 15.6 per cent among three- to nine-year-olds. Read article

Finland vows care for narcolepsy kids who had swine flu shot

AFP — The Finnish government and major insurance companies announced Wednesday they will pay for lifetime medical care for children diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine. “The compensation will provide much-needed financial assistance for the families, although it cannot take away the emotional distress caused by this condition,” Social Services and Health Minister Paula Risikko said in a statement. Read article

Pharmaceutical Company CSL Blames Flu Vaccine for Causing Fits in Children

Newscore – Pharmaceutical giant CSL has blamed a world-first blending of flu virus strains as the likely cause of fits in children immunized with its flu vaccine last year, The Australian reported Saturday. CSL followed World Health Organization recommendations when it concocted its controversial Fluvax vaccine, which combined swine flu with two seasonal strains of influenza for the first time. The vaccine has been banned for children under five in Australia, Europe and the US since it triggered convulsions in one out of every 100 children immunized in Australia last autumn. CSL Friday revealed a breakthrough in its 18-month scientific investigation, which involves the federal government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It said the interim findings pointed to a problem with how the three virus strains interacted. Read Article

Young people should not take flu vaccine, watchdog says

The Telegraph – The European Medicine Agency said that Pandemrix should only be given to the under-20s if they are at risk of contracting swine flu and alternative jabs are not available. Its announcement comes after studies showed that young people who were given the vaccine were at increased risk of developing narcolepsy, which causes sufferers to fall asleep unexpectedly. Read article

Watchdog defied: US gets tough with CSL

The Australian – The powerful US Food and Drug Administration has disputed the Australian drug regulator’s view of manufacturing problems at pharmaceutical giant CSL. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has publicly played down the significance of the FDA’s official warning letter to CSL, which threatened our biggest drug company with losing its licence to distribute flu vaccine in the US. Read article

Scotland: Swine Flu Spread Was Much Wider Than First Thought, Scientists Say

ScienceDaily — The swine flu outbreak of winter 2009-2010 was much more widespread than was previously realised, research suggests. Blood samples taken from Scottish adults in March last year at the end of the H1N1 flu season showed that almost half were carrying antibodies to the virus. Read article

Sweden: Narcolepsy cases rising after swine flu vaccine

The Local – Ninety-three people in Sweden, most of them children, have been diagnosed with narcolepsy since taking the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix last winter, according to figures from the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket). In 88 of the 93 cases, the agency has identified a direct correlation between the vaccine and the onset of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder causing extreme drowsiness and daytime sleep attacks. Read article

Related articles: Britain: New concerns over swine flu jab after children given it ‘hit by sudden sleep syndrome’; Ireland: GPs must return flu vaccine over narcolepsy fears; Finnish study links GSK flu shot to narcolepsy

Mexico Social Distancing Reduced Flu Transmission: H1N1 Study Shows Closing Schools, Other Measures Effective

ScienceDaily — Schools were closed, restaurants shuttered and large public gatherings cancelled. The H1N1 virus was new, and most of the cases occurred among young people. Health professionals and scientists weren’t sure at the onset what the world would encounter with the virus. Social distancing measures were enacted in Mexico where the pandemic affected different geographical areas of the country during three distinct waves. During the spring of 2009 when the virus affected the Mexico City area, officials choose to take measures to limit the virus’ spread including cancelling large gatherings like soccer games. New evidence suggests that these measures were effective, according to a new study… Read article

Britain: New concerns over swine flu jab after children given it ‘hit by sudden sleep syndrome’

Daily Mail – A swine flu vaccine which has been given to thousands of children in Britain may cause the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness and nodding off suddenly without warning. All packets of the vaccine Pandemrix will have to carry a warning about the risk following a ruling by the EU regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Read article

Related article: Did swine flu vaccine give boy sleeping sickness that causes him to lose control of his body?

Disabled girl’s family want flu shot payout

The West Australian – The family of a Perth girl who suffered organ and brain damage after a flu shot is set to seek an ex-gratia payment from the State Government. Medical negligence lawyer Julian Johnson said yesterday that Mick and Kirsten Button would apply for an interim payment to help with the care of their daughter Saba. Saba, who turns two next week, was diagnosed with organ and brain damage from seizures after a flu vaccination last April. She fell ill just days before the WA and Federal Governments stopped the seasonal flu vaccination program after bad reactions in hundreds of young children. Read article

Related article: Australia: Flu shot destroys baby Saba’s life

Editorial Note – It would seem that many local media outlets have subsequently pulled this story from their websites. From the information that we have recieved this was following pressure from the Western Australian government to comply. Another sad day for civil liberties and democracy, and yet another win for big business and the pharmaceutical sector in particular.

Ireland: GPs must return flu vaccine over narcolepsy fears

Irish Independent – The Heath Service Executive (HSE) will remove all stocks of the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix from GPs’ surgeries, the Sunday Independent has learned. The vaccine has been linked to the disabling sleep disorder, narcolepsy. Last week, this newspaper revealed that eight people who received the swine flu vaccine in Ireland have developed the devastating disorder, with most of the cases involving teenagers and young adults. Read article

Vaccines may have increased swine flu risk

ABC – There is renewed controversy surrounding influenza vaccines, with some studies showing people immunised against the seasonal flu might have been at greater risk during the swine flu outbreak. Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon has called for a review of Australia’s flu vaccine policy in light of the new research, but the Federal Government has defended its vaccination program. Immunisation can be a sensitive issue, particularly when it comes to adverse effects in children. Read article

Risk of fits prompts bans of four flu jabs

The Australian – Four brands of flu vaccine have been banned for young children due to the risk of fits, in new Health Department advice for the start of the flu season. Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop has stepped up surveillance for side-effects from this year’s flu jab, which will be made to the same formula that triggered a tenfold increase in febrile convulsions among young children last year. “The events of last year illustrated the importance of monitoring vaccine usage in children,” Professor Bishop wrote in a letter to doctors this week. Read article

Feds checking post-vaccine seizures in young kids

Associated Press – Government officials are investigating an apparent increase in fever-related seizures in young children after they got a flu shot. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said there have been 36 confirmed reports of seizures this flu season in children ages 6 months through 2 years. The seizures occurred within one day after they were vaccinated with Fluzone, the only flu shot recommended in the United States for infants and very young children. Ten of the children were hospitalized, but all recovered. The FDA said it is investigating to see if there is any connection between the vaccine and the seizures, or if something else caused the convulsions. The agency said recommendations for using the vaccine have not changed, nor has there been any change in flu vaccine guidance. Read Article

Child Flu Vaccine Contains Mercury

Express – Up to a million under-fives have been inoculated against the flu virus with a controversial vaccine containing poisonous mercury. Pandemrix has been given to almost a quarter of all healthy babies and young children as well as thousands of older children with health problems. Inquiries by the Sunday Express reveal it contains a preservative made with a form of mercury that was phased out of childhood vaccines in 2004 after fears about its safety. The preservative, called thimerosal, has been linked with autism and developmental disorders in children and was withdrawn from childhood vaccines in the United States and parts of Europe 10 years ago. Read Article