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Vaccine Expert: Doctors Withheld Narcolepsy Symptoms

Kari Lankinen, head physician of the Finnish Medicines Agency says that doctors have failed to report suspicions of side effects of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine. Lankinen is also a member of a national group of vaccine experts.

Kari S. Lankinen
Image: Fimea

In an interview with the Savo local service of YLE, Lankinen said that doctors seem to have deliberately refrained from informing authorities about their suspicions of side effects of the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, even though there were several cases of suspected side effects.

Lankinen suspects that the reason for the silence was the doctors’ concern about their own professional goals – such as getting their articles published in international medical journals. The doctors who made the observations in recent months now work with the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Deliberate Deception Denied

Paediatrician Turkka Kirjavainen of the Children’s Hospital of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Health Care District (HUS), who also works with THL, admits that the first symptoms of narcolepsy among children were investigated at the beginning of the year, but insists that there were no suspicions of any connections between the narcolepsy and the H1N1 vaccine. He sharply denies any deliberate deception.

Doctors are not legally required to report suspected side-effects of vaccines. Nine suspected cases of narcolepsy have been reported by HUS so far.

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