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Severe reactions to swine flu vaccine in Canada: WHO

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Nov 24, 2009
An unusual number of severe allergic reactions to swine flu vaccinations have been recorded in Canada, where a batch of the vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been recalled, the WHO said on Tuesday.

"An unusual number of severe allergies to the vaccine have been detected in Canada," World Health Organisation spokesman Thomas Abraham told AFP.

"The Canadian authorities are conducting the appropriate investigations on the vaccines" and "recalled a batch of vaccine from GSK."

"We need to understand what happened in Canada," he added.

GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Gwenan White told AFP that the affected doses of its Aprepanrix vaccine had caused reactions to the heart and lungs.

White added that some 172,000 doses are involved, although she declined to reveal how many of those had already been used.

GlaxoSmithKline have asked Canadian medical authorities to stop administering vaccines from the affected batch, White said, adding the company's investigations were ongoing.

WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham said that the WHO had not changed its recommendations regarding swine flu vaccines.

Last week, the WHO said checks on many of the 30 deaths recorded following mass pandemic flu vaccinations had so far ruled out a direct link to the vaccines.

The fatalities made up a minute fraction of at least 65 million doses of swine flu vaccines which have been administered, said the WHO, citing data from 16 countries.

For every 10,000 doses of vaccines administered, only one report of adverse effect had been logged.

Of every 100 reports of adverse effects, five are serious cases such as death, the WHO said.

More than 6,750 people have died worldwide since the virus appeared in April, according to WHO data.

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Swine flu: doctors blast 'anti-vaccination movement'
Paris (AFP) Nov 23, 2009
A leading association of clinicians on Monday accused an "anti-vaccination movement" of breeding suspicion about the (A)H1N1 swine flu vaccine in Europe and declared public health and lives were at risk. The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) said it was worried by the slow rate of vaccination in some European countries. "ESCMID joins others ... read more

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