Fears of 1976 ‘Swine Flu Debabcle’ Emerging

August 16, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The British newspapers are reporting on a leaked letter sent from a government health agency to the country’s neurologists, requesting that the specialists be on the lookout for increased cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, (GBS) a rare nerve disorder, in light of the upcoming swine flu vaccination program.

Although the World Health Organization reassured the public about the safety of the newly developed swine flu vaccine, Britain’s National Health Service is putting a monitoring system in place to track any adverse effects from the vaccine, with enhanced surveillance for cases of GBS, after the vaccinations begin.

According to The Times, the letter was sent by Britain’s Health Protection Agency, after studying the problems with the 1976 swine flu vaccine administered in the United States, which was linked to hundreds of cases of GBS, including 25 deaths. When cases of GBS began to emerge, the vaccination program was halted.

Since the so called 1976 “Swine Flu Debacle,” the technology for developing vaccines has significantly improved in the past 33 years, and experts say their safety should not be a concern.

Indeed, in a recent study published by CDC scientists in the journal Drug Safety, the study found that flu vaccines since 1976, have not produced any serious side effects. The only direct link to GBS was attributed to the 1976 batch of swine flu vaccine.

The study of CDC scientists concluded:

“Our review indicates that, with rare exceptions, associations between vaccines and GBS have been only temporal. There is little evidence to support a causal association with most vaccines. The evidence for a causal association is strongest for the swine influenza vaccine that was used in 1976-77. Studies of influenza vaccines used in subsequent years, however, have found small or no increased risk of GBS.”

Further, Britain’s own Department of Health conducted trials on a vaccine similar to the swine flu vaccine and concluded that, “The vaccines have been shown to have a good safety profile.”

Still, some people may look back to the “swine flu debacle” 33 years ago and become fearful. However the CDC study noted that, except for that one batch of flu vaccine used in 1976 and since taken off the market, flu vaccines developed for the past 55 years have not shown any evidence of a link to Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, announced on Friday it plans to conduct 16 clinical human trials of the swine flu vaccine on about 9,000 people throughout Europe and North America. Early results of the trials are expected in September.

Glaxo is testing vaccines with an adjuvant, a chemical compound used to stretch a vaccine’s active ingredient and boost an immune response, which has never been licensed in vaccines in the U.S. or Canada. The European clinical trials will include the compound, with two separate tests, with and without the compound, planned for the U.S. and Canada.

Two other major drugmakers, Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis SA, have already begun testing the new swine flu vaccine. The Australian pharmaceutical company CSL began testing its vaccine in July.

Since the swine flu began in April, it has traveled the globe, infecting millions and resulting in 1,462 deaths.


Comments

4 Responses to “Fears of 1976 ‘Swine Flu Debabcle’ Emerging”

  1. mova on August 16th, 2009 7:30 pm

    I will be stockpiling Viralox for my family this season.It is a all natural spray made from colostrum.Proven to be 3X more effective then a vaccine. Kept us all well last season hope it works as well this year. There is no way I would let anyone in my family take this untested vaccine I am sure the side effects will be told in years to come.

    Be Well, Mova

  2. swine flu on August 17th, 2009 7:07 am

    The mass swine flu vaccination programme is due to start in October, please take a minute to vote in our online swine flu poll.

    Swine Flu Vaccine

  3. Fears of 1976 aSwine Flu Debabclea Emerging | Life Sciences Blog on August 20th, 2009 5:15 pm

    […] are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox. com or its partners….Read the Full Story VN:F [1.5.8_856]Rating: 0 (from 0 votes) Related posts:An interview with Dr. Svetlana Kogan on […]

  4. Swine Flu Symptoms Information on August 24th, 2009 6:56 am

    I think the swine flu is not so important it’s like the normal flu

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