Norway’s 2009 swine flu vaccines: “We are still receiving adverse drug reaction reports in 2020”

swine flu vaccinePhoto: CDC / Unsplash
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Vaccination is on many of our minds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with new treatments currently being created, approved, and distributed.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution has begun, and public reactions are diverse. Many are happy, seeing an end to the pandemic in sight. Some are worried about medical side effects. Others still are flat-out opposed to the vaccine.

But COVID-19 isn’t Norway’s first pandemic nor mass vaccination situation.

We explored the case of Norway’s last big vaccine distribution, which followed the 2009-2010 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic.

Keep in mind, as you read, that H1N1 and COVID-19 are two totally different illnesses, with different vaccinations and outcomes.

A decade of medical innovation also divides the two.

The H1N1 vaccine in Norway

Norway’s vaccination system

Let’s start with an introduction to how the vaccination system works in Norway.

Residents of Norway can contact their health care providers to receive a vaccination.

All side effects of medicines are reported to the Norwegian Medicines Agency (Legemiddelverket, LMV), be they directly from patients or from medical health care personnel. LMV deals with all medicinal side effects, even those that do not give the patients a right to compensation.

The Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation (NPE) handles compensation claims from patients who think they may have gotten an injury from an error or omission in health care treatment.

The purpose of the compensation is to cover additional expenses incurred as a result of the patient’s injury. More information on NPE’s criteria to qualify for compensation for a patient injury can be found here.

Because Norway’s swine flu vaccinations cause side effects in some cases, we spoke to NPE and LMV to learn more.

How many people reported side effects of the swine flu vaccines, total?

“2001 adverse drug reaction reports have been filed in relation to the swine flu vaccines since 2009”, a Norwegian Medicines Agency LMV spokesperson tells us.

What were the reported side effects?

The LMV spokesperson explains:

“935 of the reports were classified as non-serious, while 1066 of the reports were classified as serious.

The most frequent system-organ classes affected were:

  • 20,28% of the reported adverse drug reactions were of a general character, such as pain at the administration site, fever, and fatigue
  • 26,73% of the reported adverse drug reactions were in the nervous system, such as headache, dizziness, and numbness

The less frequent organ-classes affected are listed below.

swine flu vaccine side effects
Photo: Norwegian Medicines Agency

The Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation (NPE) spokesperson adds:

“We can only answer for the patients who have sent a claim for compensation to us. We have so far given compensation to 107 young patients (up to 19 years), due to the fact that they got narcolepsy from the vaccine. This is a serious and lifelong condition.”

How much was paid out in compensation in NOK, and to how many people?

“We have paid out NOK 374 million to 156 patients”, the (NPE) spokesperson says, continuing:

“The amount each patient gets as compensation depends on how serious the side effect is.”

What ages were people who experienced side effects?

The LMV spokesperson tells us:

  • 30.1% was between 0-19 years old
  • 24.8% was between 20-39 years old
  • 27.7% was between 40-59 years old
  • 11.1% was 60+ years old
  • In 6.4% of the reports, the age is unknown.

Are you still receiving side effect reports from these vaccines? When was the most recent side effect reported?

“We are still receiving ADR reports related to these vaccines.

“The most recent were received in November this year”, the LMV spokesperson says.

What were the names of the swine flu vaccines and who produced them?

The LMV spokesperson explains:

  • Pandemrix – Marketing authorization holder: GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals Services S.A
  • Celvapan – Marketing authorization holder: Nanotherapeutics Bohumil, S.R.O.

Pandemrix was, by far, the most frequently used vaccine in Norway in 2009/2010.

Celvapan was only offered to a minor group of the vaccines, and only 4 adverse drug reaction reports are related to this vaccine.”

Source: Norway Today

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3 Comments on "Norway’s 2009 swine flu vaccines: “We are still receiving adverse drug reaction reports in 2020”"

  1. Some vital information is missing. 2001 adverse reactions have been reported. How many vaccinations were made in total, and what percentage are the 2001 adverse reactions of vaccinations in total?

  2. Iraq-(in)famous Tony Blair! has an article on Independent pushing vaccinations, among other things, “We are in a race against time – we must change our vaccine policy now: Vaccine strategy should be changed – to get a single shot to as many people as possible to slow the spread of coronavirus.” My response there … so far uncensored/undeleted:

    Tony had us all in a “45 minute” “race against time” against Iraqi WMDs which he obviously just did not care whether or not they did in fact exist … and into a war (still) killing thousands of our American and British young best, about a million innocent Iraq men, women, and children and mentally and physically maiming countless more … and then there are the refugees.

    I am of the thalidomide and Agent Orange generation, and I shall continue to exercise my extreme – facemasking whenever out in public – preventative precautions and wait to see if the vaccines are safe … first.

    ***

    Another commenter – which seems suspiciously like it may be Blair himself – asked what are my reasons/criteria for delaying getting vaccinated. My response a day or so ago, before this Norway Today article today:

    We were given reassurances about the swine flu vaccine too. My ex and I had agreed I – being retired – should take my 1.5 yr old son to the temporary vaccination center [in an empty storefront in Lørenskog, where we were at the time].

    Before I took him to get on the bus, I decided to do a last Internet check and discovered there were 2 kinds of vaccine. The best – which was being reserved for government officials and other elites in Germany, for example – was all vaccine. The general distribution version was being augmented by something called an adjuvant which someone had discovered contained mercury – a poison.

    I found out the telephone number for the nurse in charge there at the vaccination center, and when I asked her if this was the adjuvant version, she admitted it was and seemed reluctant to talk more. So my little son did not get the shot (for which he was blissfully unaware 🙂 ).

    And a number of those vaccinated with the adjuvant version now have lifelong narcolepsy, which is nothing to take lightly.

    So for myself I am waiting to see after a good number of others have been vaccinated, even though I am 74.

    For my young children here, I would like to wait on them being vaccinated too, but the new coronavirus mutation is moving down the age brackets, so I will be watching closely and trying to compare risks.

    Have a good Christmas, and thanks for asking.

  3. I later added there on Independent:

    Meanwhile, Tony Fauci – now 80 – is publicly proclaiming he went to the North Pole and personally vaccinated Santa Claus! (for the younger vaccine recipients’ benefit, obviously.) So much for Tony Fauci’s credibility! 🙂

    I should add that a commenter somewhere has said the coronavirus vaccines under development do not have adjuvant. That should be double-checked. And to deal with a virus so … virulent … and deep-reaching … the vaccines may be more deep-reaching and deep-affecting … for better or worse.

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