New Evidence States H1N1 Vaccine Has Elevated Risk of Causing Guillian-Barre Syndrome

On Sunday 17th October 2010 one of the UK’s leading Sunday newspapers, the Mail on Sunday, reported that a recently released report suggests that the UK government’s position has changed regarding the H1N1 vaccine and related cases of Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS). This came to the attention of the Mail on Sunday after the Medicines and Health Care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) released it’s latest report.

The article, Experts admit the swine flu jab ‘may cause’ deadly nerve disease, (…) by Jo MacFarlane states that the MHRA report says the following:

Given the uncertainties in the available information and as with seasonal flu vaccines, a slightly elevated risk of GBS following H1N1 vaccines cannot be ruled out. Epidemiological are ongoing to further assess this possible association.”

This is a complete turn around by the British Government as previously they have emphasized that there was no link between the H1N1 vaccine and cases of GBS.

Jo MacFarlane Mail on Sunday says:

Government experts say there is no evidence of an increase in risk similar to 1976, but the MHRA report reveals they are calculating if there might be a smaller raised risk.

The MHRA had 15 suspected GBS cases after vaccination – and six million doses of the swine flu jab Pandemrix were given. It is not known if swine flu or the vaccine could have caused the suspected cases.”

Last year after the Mail on Sunday revealed that doctors were being asked to monitor cases of GBS in swine flu pandemic. A letter released from the Health Protection Agency’s Justin McCracken shortly afterward stated that there was no evidence to suggest that there was an increased risk of GBS from the vaccines being developed to fight the then current pandemic.

So what has changed?

In 1976 GBS was clearly linked to the swine flu vaccine. In fact the CDC (…) clearly state on their website:

GBS may have several causes .While it is not fully known what causes GBS, it is known that about two-thirds of people who get GBS do so several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a lung or sinus illness. An infection with the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni, which can cause diarrhea, is one of the most common illnesses linked to GBS. Although rare, people can also get GBS after having the flu or other infections such as Epstein Barr virus. Except for the swine flu vaccine used in 1976, no other flu vaccines have been clearly linked to GBS.

According to the National Institute of Neurological disorders and Stroke (…) Guillian- Barre Syndrome or GBS is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the patient is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases, the disorder is life-threatening and is considered a medical emergency. The condition can lead to death in some instances.

Mrs Kinney, 68, remembers exactly what is like to suffer from GBS. In 1976 like millions of others she had the swine flu shot recommend by the government. However, just like several hundreds of other victims she developed GBS as a result. She told the New York Times (…):

About a week after getting the swine flu shot, she recalled, “I was so weak I couldn’t push down the toaster button”

As a result Mrs Kinney was so ill she spent a whole month in hospital completely paralyzed from the waist down.

This year has seen cases of narcolepsy, miscarriage and death associated with the swine flu vaccine being reported by the media worldwide and now after this latest blow, one has to wonder if it is far safer to take ones chances with the swine flu and to avoid the vaccine altogether.

Associated H1N1 vaccine stories

1. Thousands of pregnant women miscarry after the H1N1 vaccine

2. Possible deaths from H1N1 vaccine reported in Sweden

3. Finland suspend H1N1 vaccines after children suffer narcolepsy from vaccinations

About the author

Christina England, BA Hons