Flu Shot and Narcolespy Warning

By Dr. Mercola

The Swedish Medical Products Agency has received reports from health care professionals regarding narcolepsy as suspected adverse drug reaction following Pandemrix flu vaccination.

The reports concern teenaged children who developed narcolepsy symptoms one to two months after vaccination against the H1N1 pandemic. Finland is also looking into the possible link following an increase in the sleeping disorder among children this spring.

According to The Local:

“In the European Union, around 30 million people were vaccinated using Pandemrix. Sweden bought 18 million doses, which was enough to provide two injections for each person in its 9.3 million population.”

The Pandemrix package insert shows that “somnolence”, although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.

Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has also issued an order to stop the use of Pandemrix swine flu vaccine due the probable link to narcolepsy in children. The agency received six reports of children who developed chronic sleep disorders after they received the vaccine in January 2010, Seer Press News reports.

Six cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy – a rare disorder characterized by chronic sleepiness, together with a loss of muscle tone – have been detected in France in persons vaccinated against influenza A/H1N1.

As you may recall, Australia also banned the swine flu vaccine for children under the age of 5, back in April, 2010, due to excessively high rates of febrile convulsions.

As you know, health authorities across the world fiercely maintain that flu vaccines are safe, regardless of what’s happening in the real world.

Time and again, serious side effects from vaccines are overlooked and swept under the rug as being “coincidental.”

Which begs the question, just how many coincidences does it take before a pattern emerges?

It’s all very convenient to ascribe all vaccine reactions to sheer chance…

Meanwhile, you know as well as I do that if a supplement were suddenly to be linked to, say, seizures or something as odd as narcolepsy, it would be banished from the market in short order – to protect your health, you see.

But when it comes to vaccines, they insist that the only way to protect your health, and that of your family, is to get a flu shot each and every season, from the age of 6 months until you die, and those who are harmed by this policy are simply viewed as being acceptable “collateral damage” or too defective to benefit from the prescribed health regimen, and their health problems would have occurred with or without the vaccine anyway.

This kind of flawed logic has been allowed to run amok for far too long.

Would You Want Your Child to Sleep Their Life Away?

Which would you rather risk experience: a week in bed, drinking hot soup, or a lifetime falling asleep at the most inopportune times; in class, during dinner, at work, in your car…

Narcolepsy, a mysterious, incurable neurological condition that causes you to suddenly fall into a deep sleep, is not something you hear about very often.

Yet Sweden and Finland recently sounded the alarm because young patients suddenly developed this abnormal sleeping disorder after being vaccinated with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

France, Germany and Norway have also started counting cases, and the EU has launched an investigation.

In Sweden, the Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) began their inquiry on August 18th. The vaccine in question is Pandemrix – GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine against H1N1 influenza — which has been used since September 2009 in Sweden and other European countries.

As of August 28, Sweden had 12 confirmed cases of narcolepsy which have been linked to the Pandemrix vaccine, the Epoch Times reports.

At least six of these cases involve children aged 12 to 16. Their symptoms developed within 4 to 8 weeks of being vaccinated with Pandemrix.

Finland has suspended the use of Pandemrix, the Seer Press reported on August 26, as Finnish children also began being diagnosed with narcolepsy at an unusual rate.

According to the Epoch Times:

“Six cases of narcolepsy is consistent with annual averages, reports THL [The Finnish National Institute for Health], but all of these patients were affected after being vaccinated, and there are nine additional cases that have not yet been confirmed.”

Finland is expected to have preliminary results from their investigation by the end of this year.

Six cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy (a loss of muscle tone) have also been reported in France, as of August 29.

The French magazine Le Figaro states that three children and three adults have developed the sleeping disorder after being vaccinated with two different swine flu vaccines. The cases were all identified since August 23.

Five cases developed post vaccination with Pandemrix, and one case after vaccination with Panenza, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.

So far, a total of 27 cases of narcolepsy that occurred within weeks of being vaccinated with an A/H1N1 vaccine have been identified across Europe, according to Euorclinix.net.

As to why or how the vaccine may be causing narcolepsy has yet to be determined. But the Pandemrix package insert states that “somnolence”, although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.

What is Narcolepsy, and What are the Known Causes?

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes you to suddenly fall into a deep sleep.  For unknown reasons, your brain becomes unable to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally, so at any point during the day you will simply fall asleep. Bouts can last from just a few seconds to several minutes. In rare cases, you may remain asleep for an hour or longer.

Needless to say, this is a very disabling disorder that can have a significantly detrimental impact on your quality of life, not to mention it can be dangerous, depending on where you suddenly fall asleep.

It can also be a terrifying disorder, because in addition to falling asleep, the majority (70 percent) of narcolepsy cases also involvecataplexy — the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control – along with vivid hallucinations and total paralysis at the beginning or end of your narcoleptic attack.

The paralysis and hallucinations are both “intrusions” of REM sleep elements into your wakeful state. The hallucination is your brain dreaming, even though you’re conscious. The feeling of paralysis is actually normal “sleep paralysis”, which under normal circumstances occur while you are in deep sleep, so you never notice it.

For obvious reasons these symptoms can be quite terrifying when they first appear.

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH):

Researchers have discovered abnormalities in various parts of the brain involved in regulating REM sleep that appear to contribute to symptom development.

Experts now believe it is likely that — similar to many other complex, chronic neurological diseases — narcolepsy involves multiple factors interacting to cause neurological dysfunction and REM sleep disturbances.

A number of variant forms (alleles) of genes located in a region of chromosome 6 known as the HLA complex have proved to be strongly, although not invariably, associated with narcolepsy.

The HLA complex comprises a large number of interrelated genes that regulate key aspects of immune-system function.

… Groups of neurons in several parts of the brainstem and the central brain, including the thalamus and hypothalamus, interact to control sleep.

… Genetic factors alone are not sufficient to cause narcolepsy. Other factors-such as infection, immune-system dysfunction, trauma, hormonal changes, stress may also be present before the disease develops.”

Unfortunately for the children afflicted with this incurable disorder, the symptoms tend to WORSEN over the two to three DECADES after the symptoms first appear. It is generally agreed that the earlier symptoms appear, the worse off you are. After the age of 60, symptoms typically lessen.

Australia Temporarily Banned Swine Flu Vaccine Due to Febrile Seizures

Back in April, Australia suspended its seasonal flu program for children under the age of five, after detecting an abnormal number of side effects within 12 hours of vaccination, compared to previous years. Side effects included high fevers and seizures. A one-year-old child also went into a coma after receiving the flu vaccine.

However, the Australian Department of Health resumed seasonal flu vaccinations for young children on July 30th, stating that:

“Continued close monitoring of side effects with this year’s seasonal flu vaccine in children under five years of age has shown that the higher than usual occurrence of fever and febrile convulsions appears to be confined to the vaccine Fluvax, manufactured by CSL, so parents can now seek advice from their doctor to use other brands on the market if they want their young children vaccinated.”

The Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Department of Health also said:

“In my last report to parents and the medical profession on June 1 this year, I highlighted that Fluvax appeared to be the main concern but that, because of limited use, there was insufficient evidence about the extent of fever and febrile convulsions associated with the other vaccines on the market.

I therefore continued to recommend the suspension of use of all seasonal flu vaccinations for healthy children under 5 years of age…

Since that announcement, continued investigations in Australia and overseas indicate that there does not appear to be the higher than normal incidence of febrile convulsions in children under five with the other seasonal flu vaccines Influvac and Vaxigrip.”

As you can see, there are a number of flu vaccines on the market. Some are specifically for A/H1N1, while others are a combination of H1N1 along with the seasonal flu strains.

So far, significantly increased hazards have been associated with Pandemrix (GSK), and possibly Panenza (Sanofi Pasteur) in Europe, and Fluvax (CSL) in Australia.

Yet, all others are still claimed to be “safe.”

I would not bet my health on it!

So what does all this mean for Americans, for whom the flu season is drawing near?

This Season’s Flu Plan for the U.S.

The news for this year is that the flu vaccine you’ll get this fall will be a combination vaccine that contains both the regular flu- andthe swine flu vaccines – you will not be given the choice to take them individually, as was done last year.

The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) lists a total of six monovalent and five trivalent flu vaccines approved for the 2010 season in the US, as well as one intranasal flu vaccine.

According to Barbara Loe Fisher this year’s seasonal flu shot will contain three type A or type B viruses, one of which will be H1N1.

As you may recall, in February of 2009 the CDC announced that every single American from the age of 6 months through the year of death should get an annual flu shot — whether we’re healthy or we’re sick.

But despite the news coming in from around the world about harmful side effects from the A/H1N1 vaccines used, the US has yet to address any of these concerns as it pertains to the upcoming flu season.

Children are not the only group that seem to react more violently to the trivalent vaccine that contains the H1N1 component.

According to Barbara Loe Fisher of the NVIC, a special government committee has been created to investigate last year’s H1N1 monovalent vaccine for signs that it may be associated with a higher rate of certain kinds of reactions. What the committee found out provisionally is that there were three signs of trouble with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine used last year.

In a recent NVIC video update, Fisher explained:

“One was Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which we know has been associated with influenza vaccine since 1976 when the first swine flu vaccine was used.

There is [also] a sign of a blood disorder called thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is when your blood cannot produce enough platelets. It’s an autoimmune type reaction.

The other is Bell’s palsy. That’s a facial paralysis. It’s a neuroimmune reaction.

The government is saying they don’t know if these are true signals or not, but there were some red flags that were raised.”

In light of the recent developments in Europe and Scandinavia, the US is now moving into the 2010-2011 flu season with a vaccine that may be very reactive.

“I am concerned,” Fisher says, “We have over 300 million people [in the US] which… are supposed to get this influenza vaccine. And we have a very aggressive push by the media and others who are following the lead of the government, so we could have a bad situation.”

Asia Gets in on the Action

Late last month the Korea Herald also reported that nearly 2,600 side effects had been reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in association with the swine flu vaccine.

There, side effects included fevers, headaches and allergic responses, and 10 deaths.

Rep. Shim Jae-cheol of the ruling Grand National Party is quoted as saying:

“There is a possibility of the flu shots causing side effects in some individuals. Rather than pushing to consume the vaccines in stock, the government needs to be more cautious in giving the flu shots.”

Prevent the Flu Without Risking Your Health in the Process

I truly worry about the callous attitude that is so willing to throw our health to the wind and ignore any evidence that conflicts with the pro-vaccine agenda. Any time you’re dealing with the health of millions, the precautionary principle really should apply.

The signs that this year’s flu vaccine may be far more harmful than previous years’ are already there!

I urge you to take your time and really make an informed decision before you rush to get this year’s flu shot…

Fortunately, along with the bad news about flu vaccines we’ve also seen an upsurge in studies on vitamin D, strengthening the evidence that it is a potent preventive measure against colds and influenza.

For example, if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you’ll be pleased to know that an article published May 1 in the American Academy of Pediatrics News recommends pregnant women take 4,000 IUs of vitamin D daily to fight infection and disease, to maintain good health, and to deliver healthier, stronger babies.

But even this seemingly large amount may be seriously inadequate in many women. Some may need more than 10,000 units per day and the only way to know for sure is to have your vitamin D level tested.

Then, take a look at this Japanese study from last year, which showed that a group of children taking Vitamin D3 was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. That’s a higher effectiveness than any flu vaccine can claim, and doesn’t come with a barrage of potentially devastating side effects!

Since we already know that most children and teenagers are Vitamin D-deficient, I urge you to get your children’s vitamin D levels tested, and if found deficient, follow my recommendations for optimizing their levels. Do this, and they’ll be far less likely to catch any cold or flu this year.

For more information, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour free vitamin D lecture along with my video on vitamin D’s role in flu prevention.

I would also like to announce that we are launching Vaccine Awareness Week with the National Vaccine Information Center during the week of November 1 – 6.  We will have some very important news to release so please stay tuned and mark your calendars!

Source: www.mercola.com

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