March 2014 – The UK government is to pay compensation of approximately one million pounds ($1,848,000 Canadian) to each of 60 narcolepsy/cataplexy victims of an H1N1 pandemic vaccine. According to International Business Times, “The Pandemrix vaccine was manufactured by pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline [GSK], which refused to supply governments unless it was indemnified against any claim for damage caused. The company will pay the bill, and claim the money back from the government [ie, UK taxpayers].”
According to The Telegraph, the vaccine was administered to high-risk groups including children and adults with asthma, diabetes and heart disease at the height of the swine flu pandemic in 2009-10. Some of the victims are National Health Services medical staff who are now unable to work, and “will be suing the government for millions in lost earnings.” But most – about 80% – are children. One example is 15 year old Chloe Glasson who developed narcolepsy 4 months after being injected with Pandemrix. According to a January 2014 Mail Online news article, Chloe’s case was so bad that she “went missing for two hours after going into a ‘dream-like autopilot’ state while making a short journey to her grandmother’s house. She eventually found her own way home safely, but not before her terrified family had contacted police, amid fears of what might have happened to her.” At the time of writing, she hoped to gain some relief by receiving an experimental drug administered at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Apparently eight year old Josh Hadfield is now taking the same drug (which costs 15,000 pounds per year). His memory is gone and he collapses when laughing. His mother informs that, “He wishes he hadn’t been born.” To date, more than 800 European children have been affected and we can expect symptoms to be recognized in many more as people become informed of the problems.
Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline refuses to admit causation and claims, “Further research is needed”. The wealthy Pharma giant has hired Stanford University sleep disorder specialist, Emmanuelle Mignot to conduct same. However, Mignot has stated: “There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries – and probably in most countries.” Several studies have shown that seasonal influenza vaccine seems to have increased the incidence of H1N1 pandemic influenza in individuals who subsequently received H1N1 pandemic vaccine, and Dr Mignot has suggested that the pandemic influenza can cause narcolepsy. And, In fact, some cases of narcolepsy appear to have occurred as a result of infection with pandemic H1N1 influenza.
So will Canadians who developed narcolepsy/cataplexy after injection of GSK’s Arepanrix adjuvanted vaccine be compensated? Don’t hold your breath. Except for the province of Quebec which has granted minimal compensation since its inception, Canada doesn’t have a vaccine injury compensation plan; GSK was granted impunity from compensation – the adjuvanted vaccine was granted ‘emergency use’ authorization with minimal safety testing.