Irish children who developed narcolepsy after receiving a swine flu vaccine called Pandemrix have yet to be offered the kind of comprehensive support package that children from other European nations have. GlaxosmithKline, maker of Pandemrix, does not have to pay the bill for what happened to the children as it was given a State indemnity.
The Irish situation is unlike the action taken by the government of Finland, who set aside over $40 million to pay for medical care, travel costs for treatment, and other expenses of the affected children. Mairead Lawless, whose 8-year-old son Alex has narcolepsy, said some support had been made available, such as a temporary medical card and educational supports, they lacked any real permanency and parents fear they could be discontinued at any time. Lawless said, 'There is no long-term commitment as yet to children who now have a lifelong disorder due to vaccination with Pandemrix.'
The lobby group Sound (Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder) wants its 47 members, 38 of whom are under 18, to be supported financially if they are unable to work. They also want parents whose ability to work is compromised due to their children’s condition to have some form of financial assistance. It has been almost a year since the Irish government pledged help. The pledge was made on the day a government-commissioned report found there was a 13-fold increased risk of developing narcolepsy in children aged 5-19 who had received the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine. Some of these children who have not yet been compensated, unlike the children in the other European nations that were affected, developed narcolepsy three years ago.
Scientists have published peer-reviewed studies from Sweden, Finland and Ireland showing that the risk of developing narcolepsy after the 2009-2010 vaccination campaign was between seven and 13 times higher for children who had Pandemrix than for their unvaccinated peers. See: http://www.examiner.com/article/medical-tragedy-gsk-s-swine-flu-vaccine-causes-narcolepsy-795-children
To read a letter from the Irish government's National Immunisation Office to all GPs dated the 27th April 2012 in regards to Pandemrix and narcolepsy in children, refer to the photo to the left of this article's text or go to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3491380436892&set=o.189142207815791&type=3&theater.
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