Narcolepsy  Pandemrix  Swine flu  Finland

Pandemrix victims to receive compensation

5 Oct 2011

published yesterday 02:41 PM
A needle and vaccine


Image: YLE

Young people who fell ill after they were inoculated against swine flu with the Pandemrix vaccine are to receive compensation. So far 92 people have notified the Finnish Medical Insurance pool of narcolepsy symptoms and requested compensation.
The amount of compensation has not yet been set, as each case will be investigated individually. Medical care, medication and travel costs are eligible for reimbursement, along with other costs incurred as a result of narcolepsy caused by the Pandemrix vaccinations.

Where the victim is a child, loss of earnings compensation could be paid to parents. After the 30-million euro fund for compensation is exhausted, the state will take responsibility for funding payouts.

The link between Pandemrix and subsequent onset of narcolepsy has been supported by research from Finland’s Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Minister promises support to narcolepsy sufferers

Minister promises support to narcolepsy sufferers

published Jul 14 07:43 PM, updated Jul 15 05:38 AM

Minister of Health and Social Services Maria Guzenina-Richardson.

Image: Yle

Minister of Health and Social Services Maria Guzenina-Richardson says that the state will, if necessary, supply additional funds to compensate those who became ill with narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine. Insurance companies are ready to pay a maximum of 30 million euros.
The European Medicines Agency will give its judgement on the link between the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix and narcolepsy next Friday. This will clear the way for decisions on compensation.

In February, the National Institute for Health and Welfare admitted that the swine flu vaccine was likely a contributing factor to an increase in the number of narcolepsy cases among children in Finland. However, the authority noted that it was difficult to attribute the rise in cases to the vaccine.

Guzenina-Richardson says that the connection between Pandemrix and narcolepsy cases is clear.

So far, 96 such cases have been diagnosed, resulting in 70 claims for compensation.

Support from the state

Guzenina-Richardson says that the state will contribute to compensation funds in case the insurance pool runs dry before satisfying all claims. The insurance pool is comprised of companies If, Pohjola Insurance and Tapiola.

“The pool’s claims reserve is 30 million euros, after which the state will provide compensation on the same basis,” the minister says.

Guzenina-Richardson does not want to put a figure on the upper limit of compensation for each patient.

“The cases will have to be considered in detail and, in addition to compensation, there will be a need to think of ways to help families touched by this tragedy,” the minister says.

Panel Confirms H1N1 Vaccine Link with Narcolepsy


Panel Confirms H1N1 Vaccine Link with Narcolepsy

published Feb 1 11:59 AM, updated Jul 14 07:26 PM

Narcolepsy can be a debilitating life-long condition.

Image: Yle

A report released on Tuesday says there is likely a link between the swine flu vaccine used in Finland and cases of narcolepsy in children.
The national narcolepsy panel's interim report suggests that the Pandemrix vaccination increases the risk of narcolepsy nearly tenfold. It says that children aged 4 to 19 were at nine times greater risk of contracting narcolepsy within eight months of the inoculation, compared with those who did not get the jab.

The working group says it is most likely that the vaccine increased the likelihood of falling ill with narcolepsy in conjunction with some other factor or factors.

It expects to confirm the preliminary findings within a few months.

Fifty-two Finnish children who were given the vaccine last winter subsequently came down with narcolepsy, which can be a debilitating lifelong condition. That is many times more than the annual average in recent years.

An increase was also reported in Sweden, but not so far in other countries where the vaccine was used.

"The trigger for narcolepsy remains unclear, which makes it difficult to evaluate the link to the vaccine," says Kari Välimäki, Permanent Secretary at the Minister of Social Affairs and Health.

The nation's highest-ranking physician, Risto Pelkonen, told the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that the families of these narcolepsy patients should be reimbursed by the state.

National Institute for Health and Welfare statement

Health Official: Swine Flu Vaccinations for Children Possibly a Mistake