Increased Risk for H1N1 Linked to Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Oct 10, 2009

An unpublished study in Canada is raising concerns about the seasonal flu vaccine and has spurred several Canadian provinces to stop administering the vaccine to populations under the age of 65. The study, lead by researchers from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Laval University, found an increased risk of H1N1 contraction for those who had received the seasonal flu vaccine. In the study, the vaccine appeared to increase the possibility of contracting H1N1 by as much as two times.1

The study is currently under peer review and is yet unpublished in any medical journal. Despite this, Canada has shown its concern by responding with a suspension of the seasonal flu vaccine in several provinces including Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta.2 Dr. Ethan Rubinstein, head of adult infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba, has read the study and states that it appears to be sound. “There are a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers,” says Rubinstein. “And the sample size is very large – 12 or 13 million people taken from the central reporting systems in three provinces. The research is solid.”3

Read the full report from The Globe and Mail. A radio report on the issue can be heard at NPR.

 

References

1. White, Patrick. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/study-prompts-provinces-to-rethink-flu-plan/article1303330/

2. White, Patrick. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/study-prompts-provinces-to-rethink-flu-plan/article1303330/

3.White, Patrick. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/study-prompts-provinces-to-rethink-flu-plan/article1303330/