Ministry downplays link between vaccine and ME   
  Monday October 23, 2006

The Ministry of Health says vaccines are not linked to the rare condition
chronic fatigue syndrome, but it is monitoring developments in Norway,
where recipients of a meningococcal B vaccine are being studied for a
possible link.   

The vaccine was given to more than 130,000 teenagers in the late 1980s in
Norwegian trials and was the parent of the vaccine against the epidemic
strain of meningococcal disease in New Zealand.   

It was used in trials in New Zealand, but not in the mass vaccination
programme in which more than 1 million young people have been vaccinated,
the ministry says.   

After a payout by Norway's patient injury compensation authority to a
person with chronic fatigue syndrome (also called myalgic encephalomyelitis
or ME) in 2003 following the trials, reportedly 70 more people who took
part have been diagnosed with the condition.