As if there weren’t already enough to be concerned about with the extensive use of vaccinations in modern health care, a recent article from Mail Online notes that the swine flu vaccine is now acknowledged to, rarely, cause narcolepsy.
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). …
There have been seven reported cases of narcolepsy in the UK linked to the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine – four of them children. The condition can also cause temporary muscle paralysis, hallucinations and problems concentrating.
While the numbers of reported cases are small, narcolepsy is itself a rare disease.
An even more concerning possible side effect of vaccination has been debated by parents and in the medical literature for the past couple decades, namely an association with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is very difficult to get to the bottom of such a question for a number of reasons.
First off, a vaccine is not a single or, as a biological drug product, even perfectly defined substance. A given vaccine will vary from lot to lot in a single brand, different approaches and formulations will be used by different or the same manufacturers for a single indication, the influenza vaccine will vary season to season, and different combinations of vaccines will be combined in various single injection products. Saying “vaccination” causes a particular effect is about the same as saying drugs cause a problem. One needs to know which vaccine, which manufacturer, which formulation, which dosage, how many doses, and possibly which vaccine lot. It is even more difficult if one is considering the pediatric population whose immune systems and entire physiology undergo such rapid change as they grow. By the same token the bromide, which we here quite often, “immunizations” are safe is basically a meaningless statement akin to “drugs” are safe. Of course all the same difficulties apply to determining the efficacy of vaccines as well though that hasn’t stopped regulators from allowing them to be given out like lollipops at every well baby visit. In the case of Sudden Infant Death, there may likely be multiple disparate etiologies leading to the tragic outcome which even further confuses the issue.
That said a number of parents and some researchers have for some time pointed to an association between various vaccines and sudden infant death. The research in the medical literature has been all over the map. some studies finding increased risk some no risk and some a protective effect. There have been some very recent disturbing articles in the peer reviewed literature concerning a widely used hexavalent vaccine and sudden infant death syndrome, which I thought it would only be responsible to share with readers.
This was a case study of a 3 month old infant who died shorty after inoculation who underwent an extensive autopsy.
Examination of the brainstem on serial sections revealed bilateral hypoplasia of the arcuate nucleus. The cardiac conduction system presented persistent fetal dispersion and resorptive degeneration. This case offers a unique insight into the possible role of hexavalent vaccine in triggering a lethal outcome in a vulnerable baby. Any case of sudden unexpected death occurring perinatally and in infancy, especially soon after a vaccination, should always undergo a full necropsy study according to our guidelines.
Again from 2011,
The RRs for the risk periods 0-7 and 0-14 were 2.0 (95% CI 1.2 to 3.5) and 1.5 (95% CI 0.9 to 2.4). The increased risk was limited to the first dose (RR = 2.2; 95% CI 1.1 to 4.4), whereas no increase was observed for the second and third doses combined.
That is to say the relative risk of death was doubled 0-7 days after vaccination and increased 50% 0 to 14 days after vaccination.
By means of a study including 300 uSUD, a 16-fold risk increase after the 4th dose could be detected with a power of at least 90 per cent. A general 2-fold risk increase after vaccination could be detected with a power of 80 per cent
This was a statistical analysis which concluded there was a 16 fold increased risk of death after the fourth dose of penta or hexavalent vaccines.
“the SMRs for SUD cases within 1 day of vaccination with vaccine A were 31.3 (95% CI 3.8-113.1; two cases observed; 0.06 cases expected) and 23.5 (95% CI 4.8-68,6) for within 2 days after vaccination (three cases observed; 0.13 cases expected)”
SMR stands for standardized mortality rate and SUD for Sudden Unexpected Death. So what that statement is saying is they found 31 times the expected SUD death rate one day after vaccination and 23.5 times two days after vaccination.
I have argued in a previous post that at least for the issue of influenza prevention, vitamin D supplementation is likely both more safe and more efficacious then the current annual vaccine program. Why Not Try Something That Works?, while I think most readers know by now where I stand on the Gardasil vaccine. The whole question of vaccine efficacy is another kettle of fish which perhaps I’ll post more on some time, but would just note quickly that vaccines are approved based on changes in the surrogate marker of antibody immune response, without having to demonstrate any actual impact on disease rates.
It is murky waters to try and navigate the question of vaccination in any particular circumstance, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves that the approach doesn’t have risks, including the risk of sudden death.