A warning that the swine flu vaccine has been linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the UK Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.
The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, was leaked to The Daily Mail, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.
It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine. GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.
The letter refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:
- More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu
- The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by eight times
- The vaccine was withdrawn after just ten weeks when the link with GBS became clear
- The U.S. Government was forced to pay out millions of dollars to those affected
Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.
The Daily Mail August 15, 2009