Avalanche of Flu Vaccine Troubles
December 02, 2006
Three important news stories about flu vaccines all hit the news services within hours of each other on November 13.
In the first, Canadian researchers discovered a slight rise in the incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, among those given flu shots.
Even though the lead researcher claims the risk of contracting Guillain-Barre is tiny, getting a flu shot ups that risk by some 45 percent.
In another story, there have been 100 recent cases of bizarre behavior and three deaths related to falls mostly in <!--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /--><st1:country-region><st1:place>Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region> connected with Tamiflu, and most involving children. This comes about a year after Tamiflu was implicated in the deaths of 12 Japanese children.
In related coverage, the news has prompted the U.S. FDA to update Tamiflu's label so that it warns patients about abnormal behavior. Tamiflu labels in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region> already carry this information.