A/H1N1 flu vaccine causes no serious side effects: CDC

13:56, November 26, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

A high-ranking U.S. health official said on Wednesday there's no evidence the A/H1N1 flu vaccine is causing any serious side effects.

"Everything that we've reviewed is extremely reassuring," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told a press conference.

"The number, pattern and types of adverse event reports that we are getting are pretty much what we see for seasonal flu vaccines," she added.

Since vaccinations began in early October, the U.S. government has been tracking the safety of A/H1N1 flu vaccine.

By mid-November, about 22 million Americans had gotten the vaccine and there were about 3,200 reports of possible side effects, the vast majority of which were minor conditions like soreness or swelling from the shot.

"Almost all of the reports that have come into our vaccine adverse event report system, or VAERS, about 94 percent of those reports are classified as not serious," Schuchat said.

"The vaccine data so far really suggests this is a safe vaccine," she said.

U.S. health officials have been watching for reports of a rare paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

That condition was seen in higher numbers than usual during a swine flu vaccination campaign in 1976, a development that contributed to the program's cancellation.

There have been only 10 Guillain-Barre reports so far in those who got the A/H1N1 flu vaccine since early October, and some of those cases still are under investigation, CDC officials said.

"We have three different systems that we're looking to understand whether Guillain-Barre Syndrome is occurring in any kind of excess amount with the H1N1 vaccine," she confirmed. "In a thorough review of these three systems so far, we don't see any problems at all."

As for the 10 cases of Guillain-Barre, she said there is no vaccine that is 100 percent safe and protective, adding that the A/H1N1 vaccine in clinical trials looked very good.

Guillain-Barre can occur on its own, and normally between 80 and 160 people are diagnosed with the condition each week in the United States, Schuchat said.

Source: Xinhua
  • Do you have anything to say?
Special Coverage
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion