Govt: Swine flu jab use 'based on available evidence'
The Department of Health said the decision to use a swine flu vaccine that has been found to increase the risk of developing narcolepsy was based on advice from the European Medicines Agency:
Pandemrix was developed specifically for use in a flu pandemic when the number of lives lost and serious cases could have been enormous.
The decision to recommend that children got this vaccine during the flu pandemic was based on evidence available at the time, along with the advice from the European Medicines Agency which approved its use.
We keep all emerging evidence under review and that's why use of Pandemrix in those less than 20 years old was stopped in the UK in 2011.
A mother from Somerset is threatening to sue the government after new figures show a link between the swine flu jab and Narcolepsy.
Caroline Hadfield says her son Josh, 4, developed the condition within three months of the injection. She says he was a perfectly healthy and energetic child before the vaccination but now sleeps for 19 hours a day.
Swine flu findings 'consistent' with European studies
Professor Liz Miller, a consultant epidemiologist with the Health Protection Agency, said that findings which have linked the swine flu vaccine to an increased risk of narcolepsy, are consistent with those from European studies.
She added that further studies would be needed to assess the risk of other vaccines used during the swine flu pandemic.
This risk may be overestimated by more rapid referral of vaccinated cases. Long term follow up of people exposed to Pandemrix is needed before we can fully establish the extent of the association.
Our findings have implications for the future licensing and use of adjuvanted pandemic vaccines. Further studies to assess the possible risk associated with other vaccines used in the pandemic, including those with and without adjuvants, are also needed to inform the use of such vaccines in the event of a future pandemic.