Children administered with vaccine for the pandemic H1N1 swine flu shot were 13 times more susceptible to develop narcolepsy with symptoms like excessive sleepiness - even in the day.
A team of Finnish researchers conducted this study and observed that between 2002 and 2009, before the outbreak of swine flu pandemic, the rate of narcolepsy in children under 17 years was 0.31 per 100,000.
In 2010, this number became about 17 times higher at 5.3 per 100,000 while there was no significant change in the narcolepsy rate in adults, says the journal Public Library of Sciences One.
As a part of the study, Markku Partinen of the Helsinki Sleep Clinic and Hanna Nohynek of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, also collected data related to vaccination and childhood narcolepsy for children born between January 1991 and December 2005, says a report of the Telegraph.
The researchers reached at the conclusion that the rate of narcolepsy in those vaccinated was nine per 100,000 compared to 0.7 per 100,000 in unvaccinated children, which is 13 times lower.
The main vaccine that was used against swine flu epidemic in UK was Pandemrix. It was the time when six million people were vaccinated. The vaccine was formulated particularly for the swine flu pandemic virus and is not in use now.
The World Health Organisation conducted an investigation when the association was first reported in Finland and Sweden two years ago and found no other countries experienced a growth in narcolepsy rates during or after the pandemic.
"The Department of Health is aware of the Finnish data, and keeps all new evidence under review." Sir David Salisbury, director of immunization at the Department of Health, UK has been quoted as saying.
--with inputs from IANS
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