Between the 8th and 10th of November, a new European Alliance was formed on behalf of those children and adults who have sustained Narcolepsy and other debilitating injuries as a result of the human swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix. Augustus Cullen Law attended on behalf of those affected in Ireland and addressed the Alliance on the legal remedies currently being pursued in this Country. Further conferences are scheduled for Oslo and Dublin in January and May 2014 respectively.
A press release from the first conference in Stockholm reads as follows;
New European Alliance Meets to discuss impact of Swine Flu Vaccine (Pandemrix) on Children:
Over the weekend of 8-10 November, the Swedish Narcolepsy Association hosted delegates from support groups and legal teams from five European countries (UK, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Sweden) representing children and adults who were caused serious injury (Narcolepsy) by the H1N1 swine flu vaccine Pandemrix.
Approximately 800 children and young adults are known to be affected at this current time although this number is expected to increase significantly.
Held in Stockholm, this was the first European conference of the new alliance.
Licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), this specific vaccine was manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and purchased for mass distribution by various state authorities during 2009 – 2010.
The initial purpose of the conference was threefold; to improve our understanding of the situation in each Country, to request a public enquiry across impacted E.U. states, and to explore legal remedies available to those affected in each country.
The primary points arising from the conference are as follows;
- Each government needs to ensure adequate supports are implemented for the injured to restore their quality of life and to allow them to reach their full potential
- Adequate financial compensation should be available in all cases in all countries
- Since the vaccine was promoted on a EU level, active EU engagement is demanded
- The alliance also demands greater emphasis from GSK, State Authorities, and the EU on research into restoring these children to full health
The alliance intends to meet again in Oslo in January and in Dublin in May.
Sweden: Herman Afzelius, Gertie Assarsson, Marie Olsson, Maria Gimbro, Margareta Eriksson, Elin Hallström, Emil Högberg, Veronica Johansson, Mats Wikner
Finland: Maarit Rautio, Ari Huhtamäki
Norway: Margaret Ramberg
Ireland: Tom Matthews, Mary Fitzpatrick, David McKechnie
UK: Matt O´Neill, Rebecca Malone, Peter Todd
Notes for Editors:
In 2010, evidence emerged in Scandinavia that GSK’s Pandemrix vaccine had, on rare occasions, caused Narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep and wakefulness. It leads to sleep deprivation, causing excessive daytime sleepiness usually accompanied by sudden episodes of muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions such as laughter, happiness, shock or anger. This is known as Cataplexy.
Narcoleptics may also suffer from sleep paralysis, an inability to move while being conscious at the onset of falling asleep or when waking from sleep.
Also present are hallucinations. These are vivid, frequently frightening dream-like experiences which occur during the transition between sleep & wakefulness. They may accompany sleep paralysis.”
For more information on this or any other medical negligence queries, please contact the following:
- David McKechnie, Associate Solicitor
12 November 2013