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Norwegian study links flu vaccine to narcolepsy risk

Published: April 1, 2017
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Source: Science Nordic

Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have followed up those under 30 who took the flu shots and those who didn’t during the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic to appraise whether the vaccine entailed serious side-effects.

The study has shown an increased incidence of narcolepsy among those who took the vaccine, informs the institute. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder which upsets sleep-wake cycles and is often characterised by daytime sleepiness and sudden lapses into sleep.

A total of 72 persons aged five to 26 were diagnosed with narcolepsy among Norway’s then population of five million between 2009 and the end of 2012. Their average age when symptoms showed up was 12.

Among these 72, 56 were vaccinated and 16 were not. This means of course that unvaccinated persons also ran a certain risk of narcolepsy.

The Institute and other public health officials in Norway recommended vaccinations to much of the population in the autumn of 2009.

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