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Swine flu drug in narcolepsy probe

"Potential link between swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy", ran the headlines last week reporting a spate of cases of the rare sleeping disorder in children. But anyone thinking of forgoing their regular flu vaccination as a result is being advised to think again.

Reports of possible links between vaccines and illnesses often crop up because vaccines are so widely deployed. Over 30 million people across Europe received the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine in the past year. A handful will likely have become ill after receiving it, but without further investigation it is impossible to say whether it was the vaccine that caused the illness to arrive at that moment, or mere chance. "Most of the links don't pan out," says Neal Halsey, a vaccines researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
 

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