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British government denies compensation to families of children permanently brain-damaged by swine flu vaccine

As has been widely reported over the past few years, the vaccine Pandemrix is linked to an outbreak of narcolepsy after being injected into some 30 million Europeans during the Great Swine Flu Scare of 2009. Narcolepsy is a permanent brain disorder which causes overpowering sleepiness. The symptoms can also include sudden muscular weakness following strong emotions responses like laughter or anger.

Among the vaccine’s victims are more than 1,300 Europeans, including at least 100 British citizens, most of them children. As of 2013, the vaccine’s manufacturer, the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, acknowledged having received reports of 989 cases of Pandemrix-related narcolepsy.(1,2) It should be noted that Pandemrix is not licensed in the United States, and has never been used there, according to the Centers for Disease Control.(3)

Victims usually require a steady regimen of stimulants and other harmful drugs in a mostly futile attempt to deal with symptoms. Some have experienced hallucinogenic nightmares. Attempted suicides  have been reported, with one death confirmed.(1)

By 2011, due to the mounting evidence of the Pandemrix-narcolepsy connection, the vaccine stopped being administered to everyone under the age of 20. Doctors in Scandinavia were the first to report the sudden increase in narcolepsy, and in 2012 Finnish and Swedish authorities issued the first official warnings that it might be linked to the vaccine. A 2013 study in the British Medical Journal concluded that 1 in  55,000 children who were given the injection developed narcolepsy. The U.K. Health Protection Agency determined that Pandemrix increases the chance of developing narcolepsy by a factor of 14. The most recent study, as noted in the prestigious journal Science, showed that Pandemrix triggered an autoimmune reaction that led to narcolepsy in some people who are genetically at risk — or what the Associated Press describes as “a case of mistaken identity by the immune system.”(1,4,5)

Naturally, GlaxoSmithKline and government agencies reacted to the public health crisis in the standard manner: outright denial, followed by “further study required,” then finally tacit acknowledgement without any formal admission of guilt.

The British government reversed course in 2013 and officially acknowledged the link between Pandemrix and narcolepsy, making victims in Britain technically eligible for compensation. However, “technically” is the operative word. According to a feature story in the Daily Mail, only one victim so far has been compensated, and that was only after a three-year legal battle. So the other hundred-plus known victims in the U.K. are likely face a long wait for even a shred of justice. And with 30 million Europeans having received the potentially brain-damaging vaccine, the number of victims is likely far higher than statistics suggest.(1,6)

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(2) GSK.comPDF





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