Flu season is fast approaching and with it comes the usual news of vaccinations, including this interesting news from The New York Times:
Cases of narcolepsy — a condition that causes sufferers to fall asleep without warning — tripled in China after the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to a study released Monday. But the surge appeared to be an annual late spring event caused by the flu itself, not by China’s swine flu vaccination campaign. The issue is important, explained Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, a Stanford University narcolepsy specialist who works in China and is an author of the study, because a “double-boosted” swine flu vaccine used in Europe apparently caused narcolepsy in some Swedish and Finnish children.
While this may be (relatively) good news for people wary of vaccinations, it’s troubling nonetheless. So, in addition to worrying about the seemingly endless strains of newly mutated super-bugs jumping from animals to humans, there’s a chance that a bout with the flu can leave your kid suffering from narcolepsy?
The authors of the study cite this as all the more reason to get flu shots, and, according to myhealthbeijing the US Center for Disease Control now recommends that "anyone over six years of age" should consider getting vaccinated.
Vaccination controversies aside, we’ll keep you posted on vaccination schedule announcements from local clinics as they become available. If you have any information to share or simply want to weigh in on the pros and cons of vaccinating your kids, please comment below (but keep it civil please).