WHO to Study Link between A (H1N1) Vaccine and Narcolepsy

WHO to Study Link between A (H1N1) Vaccine and Narcolepsy Geneva, Feb 9. – The World Health Organization (WHO) said it will investigate to determine whether there is any relationship between the vaccine against influenza A (H1N1) and cases of narcolepsy (a sleep disorder) reported in several countries.

The decision was made after countries such as Finland, Sweden and Iceland found that young adolescents suffered narcolepsy after being immunized with vaccine against influenza A (H1N1) developed by GlaxoSmithKline Pandemrix.

However, WHO spokesperson Alison Brunier said the vaccine remains in use and there are no changes in recommendations.

Brunier said countries should continue to vaccinate against H1N1 to immunize people at risk, using monovalent vaccines including Pandemrix, if no available trivalent vaccines.

Also the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm, said it is currently studying narcolepsy and pandemic influenza vaccines

To date, some 31 million doses of Pandemrix in 47 countries had being administrated and 162 cases of narcolepsy have being reported until January 31, 2011, 70 percent of them in Finland and Sweden.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder of unknown cause characterized by excessive sleepiness and frequent sleep attacks during the day.(Prensa Latina)