Public Library of Science: H1N1 vaccine increased incidence of Incurable Neurologic disease in an exceptionally large number of Finnish children


Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a leading journal created in 2003 to rival existing elite journals such as Science and Nature.

In 2012 PLOS reported the increased incidence of a serious neurologic disorder called Narcolepsy.

Annual incidence of narcolepsy by age group and year of diagnosis. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033723.g003 (Adapted from PLOS)

Annual incidence of narcolepsy by age group and year of diagnosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033723.g003 (Adapted from PLOS)

As it is depicted in the chart adults were not affected but children were seriously affected. The most injured were the 11-16 y group (in red).
How serious is narcolepsy. A report from Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent from Reuters UK of January of 2013 tells the story of Emelie.

She is one of around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunised with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009.

Emelie is plagued by hallucinations and nightmares. When she wakes up, she’s often paralysed, unable to breathe properly or call for help. During the day she can barely stay awake, and often misses school or having fun with friends. She is only 14, but at times she has wondered if her life is worth living.

Pandemrix is not licensed for use in the US and was not used in the influenza pandemic season (2009-2010).

Europe was not spare and public officials regret the result. The risk benefit ratio according to Reuters is not favorable.

Sweden’s mass vaccination saved between 30 and 60 people from swine flu death. Yet since the pandemic ended, more than 200 cases of narcolepsy have been reported in Sweden.
With hindsight, this risk-benefit balance is unacceptable. “This is a medical tragedy,” he said. “Hundreds of young people have had their lives almost destroyed.”

The Chief medical officer of Glaxo Smith Klein’s vaccines division, Norman Begg, according to Reuters is

“absolutely committed to getting to the bottom of this” but adds there is not yet enough data or evidence to suggest a causal link.

Emmanuel Mignot an expert in narcolepsy has a different opinion according to Reuters

Emmanuel Mignot, one of the world’s leading experts on narcolepsy, who is being funded by GSK to investigate further – agree more research is needed but say the evidence is already clearly pointing in one direction. “There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries – and probably in most countries,” says Mignot, a specialist in the sleep disorder at Stanford University in the United States.

Reuters reported the concern in the scientific community regarding “vaccine scares”.

Rare adverse reactions can swiftly develop into “vaccine scares” that spiral out of proportion and cast what one of Europe’s top flu experts calls a “long shadow” over public confidence in vaccines that control potential killers like measles and polio.

“No-one wants to be the next Wakefield,” said Mignot, referring to the now discredited British doctor Andrew Wakefield who sparked a decades-long backlash against the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot with false claims of links to autism.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield coauthored a controversial paper with Prof John Walker-Smith published in Lancet.

Prof John Walker-Smith who was the head of department at the Royal Free Hospital in north London lost his license to practice in May 2010, along with Dr Andrew Wakefield. They were charged with professional misconduct. An appeal to the High Court has cleared Prof John Walker-Smith

According to BBC:

The judge said the GMC panel failed to address whether Prof Walker-Smith had been doing research or simply investigating symptoms to help treat children. There had been “inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion”, he said.

The purpose of the General Medical Council (GMC) is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield now lives in the US.
Here are some comments from him

“I want to make one thing crystal clear for the record – my research and the serious medical problems found in those children were not a hoax and there was no fraud whatsoever. Nor did I seek to profit from our findings.

“I stand by the Lancet paper’s methodology and the results which call for more research into whether environmental triggers cause gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in children. In fact, despite media reports to the contrary, the results of my research have been duplicated in five other countries (to see citations to studies, visit

“I continue to fully support more independent research to determine if environmental triggers, including vaccines, are causing autism and other developmental problems. The current rate of autism is 1 in 110 children in the United States and 1 in 64 children in the U.K. My goal has always been and will remain the health and safety of children. Since the Lancet paper, I have lost my job, my career and my country. To claim that my motivation was profit is patently untrue. I will not be deterred – this issue is far too important.”


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