herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Hundreds fall ill after having swine flu jab

Swine flu vaccine has caused adverse reactions in 619 people to date, varying from seizures and anaphylactic shock to fainting and vomiting.

Two more people have died from the flu but the number of people falling ill with the virus has halved in the past week.

More than 400,000 vaccinations against swine flu have been carried out, according to the latest figures from the Irish Medicines Board which details the reported side effects for both forms of the vaccines -- Pandemrix and Celvapan.

Of the 619 people who showed side effects to the vaccine, 52 had an allergic reaction and three of these went into anaphylactic shock.

Altogether 210 children reacted adversely to the vaccine, 15 with an allergic reaction and some of the children needed hospital treatment as a result.

Forty pregnant women reported side effects, four of them allergic and one woman, with a history of miscarriage, lost her baby.

Six people had seizures, two people reported facial palsy and the IMB was made aware of the death of one patient 10 days after vaccination but says the patient had an underlying condition and there was no evidence of a link between the vaccine and the patient's death.

"Most people receiving the vaccine have serious and/or chronic underlying medical conditions which put them at greater risk of developing serious complications of swine flu," says the board adding "this is why it is important for these people to be vaccinated as a priority".

Generally the reactions included flu-like illness, head-ache, dizziness and fainting, pins and needles, transient weakness of the vaccinated limb and nausea and vomiting.

The latest people to die from swine flu were two men with underlying illnesses, one from the east and the other from the south of the country, bringing the total deaths to 20.

Health officials say there has been a marked decline in the spread of the virus in the past week, down to 5,500 new cases compared to 10,500 the previous week.

csheehy@herald.ie

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